From an interdisciplinary perspective, researchers have drawn contrasts between nursing and strategic planning (Carney, 2009). However, there is little evidence explaining the role of nurses in strategic management. Based on the failure to understand the interplay between nursing and strategic planning, this paper highlights the major areas of similarity and differences between the two concepts.
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Similarities between Nursing and Strategic Planning
Both nursing and strategic planning disciplines are similar in the sense that all of them approach problem-solving from three unique perspectives – gathering data, evaluating possible alternatives, and formulating a plan of action (Schober, 2017). In this regard, nursing and strategic planning processes are both useful in implementing nursing informatics strategies (Carney, 2009). Both disciplines also address issues systematically and logically (Marquis & Huston, 2017). Lastly, both processes require frequent evaluations to make sure they remain goal-oriented (Carney, 2009).
Differences between Nursing and Strategic Planning
One of the major differences between the nursing and strategic planning concepts is their locus of concentration. While the nursing process aims to improve the quality of health care services, strategic planning focuses on achieving organizational goals (Fairholm & Card, 2009). Stated differently, strategic planning aims to accomplish organizational goals, while the nursing process strives to meet patients’ health care needs. Another difference between both concepts is that the nursing process only involves two players – a nurse and a patient, while strategic planning processes involve multiple people (Schober, 2017). Nursing and strategic planning processes also take different lengths of time to complete. Indeed, while the nursing process takes a short period (months) to complete, the strategic planning process often takes a long period to implement (up to ten years) (Schober, 2017).
This paper shows that nursing and strategic planning processes are often compared and contrasted because they follow the same process of problem-solving – data gathering, problem evaluation, and formulation of an action plan. The main differences between the two hinge on their varied goals and time to complete them. The nursing process only takes a few months to complete, while the strategic planning process takes a longer time to complete (up to 10 years). Broadly, both concepts could be merged to create a hybrid model for providing quality health care services.
Carney, M. (2009). Enhancing the nurses’ role in healthcare delivery through strategic management: Recognizing its importance or not? Journal of Nursing Management, 17(6), 707-717.
Fairholm, M. R., & Card, M. (2009). Perspectives of strategic thinking: From controlling chaos to embracing it. Journal of Management and Organization, 15(1), 17-30.
Marquis, B. L., & Huston, C. J. (2017). Leadership roles and management functions in nursing: Theory and application (9th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.
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Schober, M. (2017). Strategic planning for advanced nursing practice. New York, NY: Springer.