Nurse leaders in the modern society face numerous challenges in the provision of health care for they have to keep abreast with dynamic political, social, cultural, and technological changes, which have a considerable impact on patients, nurses, and healthcare organizations. For nurse leaders to overcome these numerous challenges, they should adopt and acquire effective knowledge and skills of leadership. Among various leadership models, the trimodal model has proved to be effective in transforming and improving patients, nurses, and healthcare organizations. According to Huston (2016), the trimodal model of leadership comprises operational, innovative, and transformational aspects of nurse leaders that facilitate them to manage the present, plan for the future, and nurture transitional processes involved. As an effective model, nurse leaders ought to adopt and employ it in managing routine operations, creating innovations, and nurturing changes to meet current and future needs of health care. Therefore, the central argument is that the trimodal model of leadership is necessary for it boosts effectiveness of leadership, applies to nursing in the modern world, integrates well into clinical practice, and fits the clinical setting.
The Essence of Adopting the Trimodal Model
Analysis of the health challenges of Florida shows that it requires effective nurse leaders to help in alleviating and improving health conditions of Floridians. Comparatively, Florida has the highest proportion (19%) of the elderly population in the United States who consume over 66% of health budget for they have chronic and acute conditions (Zevallos, Wilcox, Lean, & Acuna, 2016). Given that the proportion of the elderly is high, Florida will continue to experience critical health challenges among the elderly population. The increasing population of the elderly population with chronic conditions who utilize over a third of the health budget shows that there is a considerable gap between health planning and delivery. The prevalence of chronic conditions, such as obesity and cardiovascular disorders, and the increasing population imply that Florida should increase its nursing workforce to meet the growing demands.
The local government of Florida ought to fund the adoption and implementation of the trimodal model of leadership in healthcare organizations to improve quality of care and patients outcomes. Critical analysis of health challenges that Florida faces shows that they lie in the realm of management, which require effective nurse leaders and change in the governance approaches. A recent study revealed that more than 62% and 24% of the elderly in Florida have hypertension and obesity respectively, while some remain uninsured and poor (Zevallos et al., 2016). The implication of the existence of chronic conditions, low economic status, and poor coverage of health insurance among the elderly population is the declining trend of the health status of Floridians. As one of the remedy, effective nurse leaders would enable Florida to manage operations and create innovations that are critical for the transformation of the health care system to cope with the persisting and emerging health challenges. Low coverage of health insurance among the poor requires effective nurse leaders to formulate guidelines and advise the local government on how to improve accessibility and affordability of healthcare. In the era where the quality of healthcare services is a basic right, effective nurse leaders are required to adopt and steer the implementation of evidence-based interventions.
The Relevance of the Trimodal Model
The trimodal model of leadership has a lot of significance and relevance to the current state of leadership in nursing. Huston (2016) elucidates that the trimodal model constitutes operation, innovation, and transformation, which are the three modes of leadership in an organization. The function of the three modes of leadership is to guarantee continuity in the advancement of changes in an organization. The mode of operation focuses on the present activities, whereas the mode of innovation concentrates on the future. For a smooth transition between the present and the future to occur, the mode of transformation is essential. In nursing, operations entail activities that nurses undertake while providing care to patients using evidence-based practices and available resources (Stimpfel, Sloane, McHugh, & Aiken, 2016). As routine activities, operations require meticulous planning, adequate funding, effective implementation, and continuous motoring for consistency and quality assurance. The essence of the mode of operation is to optimize resources available and obtain the greatest possible outcomes of health care among patients.
The trimodal model also recognizes the fact that health care becomes complex with time coupled with the need to create effective and efficient processes. For operations to be effective and efficient, nurse leaders need to adopt and implement the mode of innovation in their realms of work. Huston (2016) argues that as health care becomes more diverse and complex, nurse leaders must turn their focus from operations to innovations. The mode of innovation provides an opportunity for nurse leaders to employ new evidence-based practices in designing new operations aimed at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of nurses in their routine operations. While the mode of operation focuses on standards, rules, and completion of checklists, the mode of innovation dwells on accountability, roles, and appropriateness of tasks. Thus, innovation is a continuous process in nursing since it challenges present operations as new information and technology emerge.
Integration into Clinical Practice
The mode of operation is an integral aspect of clinical practice because nurses perform routine activities that encompass the provision of comprehensive care to patients. In nursing, nurse leaders ought to plan and implement programs to facilitate nurses to carry out routine operations without undue influence or disturbance. Since nursing activities are diverse and complex, effective operational planning is critical to ensure smooth flowing of patients, the provision of the quality care, and constant monitoring of patients. Wong (2015) asserts that the management of operations allows nurse leaders to connect with patient outcomes. This assertion implies that the mode of operation integrates into clinical outcomes because it determines patient outcomes directly or indirectly, depending on the nature of operations that nurse leaders manage.
The mode of innovation integrates well into clinical practice because it permits research and creates room for operations, processes, and organizations to evolve. As the backbone of clinical practice is research, it requires innovative nurse leaders to support, plan, and fund research activities focused on improving the performance of nurses and patient outcomes. To integrate the mode of innovation in clinical practice, nurse leaders should be in tandem with new evidence-based practices by adopting and implementing them judiciously. Bender (2016) avers that the role of nurse leader is to promote and sustain innovation by building effective teams, supporting staff, and facilitating engagement among nurses. The provision of training to nurses is also a way of integrating the drive for innovation among nurse leaders and nurses.
Once nurse leaders have optimized operations and come up with innovative processes, they need to sustain them to have meaningful impacts on the delivery of the quality care to patients. In this case, the mode of transformation enables nurse leaders to crystallize achieved milestones while sustaining the trend of innovation. The sustainability of operations and innovations is dependent on the ability of nurse leaders to invent new processes based on innovations and create effective pathways to safeguard sustainability (Bender, 2016). For a change to be sustainable in nursing, it requires a careful plan, sufficient funds, modified roles, an updated technology, advanced competencies, and adequate infrastructure (Huston, 2016). However, unsustainable transformation causes operations to stagnate or even revert to old ones that are not only ineffective but also defective.
Utilization in Clinical Setting
Based on the trimodal model, nurse leaders have to manage operations, undertake research activities, and update nurses and resources required for the successful delivery of the quality care to patients in the clinical setting. In the aspect of operation, the role of nurse leaders is to manage routine activities in various departments and ensure the delivery of nursing care is seamless. In a jurisdiction like that of Florida, nurse leaders play a significant role in in the management of operations to meet the increasing demand from the elderly population. Nurse leaders also have to employ the mode of innovation while managing nursing operations because resources become deficient and the complexity of healthcare needs augments. Huston (2016) holds that in instances where there are resource shortages, nurse leaders utilize innovative optimization strategies without compromising the quality of care that patients receive. Sustained research activities in the clinical setting need the adoption and implementation of novel findings. In this case, the transformational aspect of the trimodal model comes in handy for it helps in the sustenance and appraisal of operations, standards, and processes over time. According to Harris, Bennett, and Ross (2014), nurse leaders determine the sustainability of operations and innovations by setting trends in the implementation of novel findings. Therefore, to transform healthcare in Florida, the local government should support the use of the trimodal model and fund its programs sufficiently.
The advancements in technology and the emergence of new findings have revolutionized practices, standards, and operations in the clinical setting. Each day, leading healthcare organizations generate clinical practices, which compel burgeoning healthcare organizations to adopt and utilize them in their routine operations as standards. For example, magnet is a highly coveted status of nursing, which healthcare organizations attain after meeting specific elements that define the quality of care. Among the elements of magnet status shared with the trimodal model are innovation, transformation, empowerment, and the quality of care (Stimpfel et al., 2016). Hence, by adopting and implementing the trimodal model, the local government would enable healthcare organizations to provide the quality care and approach magnet status.
The trimodal model of leadership is appropriate in the management of nurses and nursing resources in Florida. The analysis of the health status Florida shows that it has some challenges, particularly among the elderly population comprising a considerable part of the population, using two-thirds of the health budget, and having limited health insurance cover. For effective delivery of care to patients, the health care system of Florida needs to focus on empowering nurse leaders to employ the trimodal model as an effective leadership strategy suitable for nurses in the 21st-century. Moreover, the trimodal model would boost the quality of care delivered to patients and assist healthcare organizations to attain a desirable magnet status.
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