Staff nurses constitute a major part of all workers in the healthcare organization. In high-performing hospitals, such as those that achieve Magnet designation, the role of these nurses is vital to the facility’s success. Nurses employ their experience and knowledge while caring for patients on a daily basis. Therefore, their contribution to quality performance is substantial – their efforts directly influence patient health. In order to promote quality improvement, staff nurses should adhere to the latest guidelines, engage in continuous learning, interact with nursing leaders, and voice their suggestions to create a communicative and open culture.
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It should be noted that the opportunity to speak up exists for nurses whose leadership inspires professional and personal growth (Bormann & Abrahamson, 2014). Nevertheless, staff nurses should employ their leadership skills to unite other nurses and serve as an example of quality and active participation. Another affecting factor is the organizational culture of the healthcare facility. For example, my workplace utilizes a functional bureaucratic structure (Yoder-Wise, 2015). This means that all employees have a specific set of rules and duties and all connections between them are official and rigid.
The leadership style of both the CEO and CNO, however, can be described as democratic. While both leaders are not involved in the majority of small conversations, their feedback and approval are vital in implementing new projects in the workplace. Moreover, they rely on the qualified members of staff or managing levels to contribute to the discussion. Thus, the combination of a bureaucratic structure and democratic leadership creates a system of rigid communicational channels where each worker is allowed to participate in some capacity. The lack of open interaction among units, however, leads to ineffective decision-making participation.
In some cases, this lack of conversation between lower and higher levels of workers leads to problems. In regards to financing decisions, for instance, senior management does not always understand the need to increase the financing or make corrections to the budget. The rigidity of the process also stalls all decisions since the official process of implementing change, challenging the quality of nurses’ performance (Spath, 2013). Moreover, nurses may feel as though their contribution to decision-making is insignificant in this setting (Manning, 2016). In turn, this can lower their initiative and participation.
As a result, nurses and managers often have to overcome challenges in addressing financial problems in their departments. In order to resolve this issue, the organization should aim to change its structure and make the participation of nurses more valuable and appreciated with the help of transformational leadership. According to Manning (2016), the transformational approach helps both managers and nurses because it creates a unifying goal and produces values for the organization.
Moreover, the focus on communicative and personal patient care and safety can become a viable strategy in increasing performance quality. A flat structure of leadership can be achieved on a small scale in units to include all nurses and specialists into the decision-making process. By giving nurses more freedom to suggest their ideas, the hospital can positively influence their commitment (Yoder-Wise, 2015).
While providing employees with freedoms, the aspect of accountability should not be abandoned – nurses should understand that their decisions have an impact which can produce both positive and negative results. As an outcome, nurses’ performance may benefit from this balance, further moving the organization towards a high level of quality care.
Bormann, L., & Abrahamson, K. (2014). Do staff nurse perceptions of nurse leadership behaviors influence staff nurse job satisfaction? The case of a hospital applying for Magnet® designation. Journal of Nursing Administration, 44(4), 219-225.
Manning, J. (2016). The influence of nurse manager leadership style on staff nurse work engagement. Journal of Nursing Administration, 46(9), 438-443.
Spath, P. (2013). Introduction to healthcare quality management (2nd ed.). Chicago, IL: Health Administration Press.
Yoder-Wise, P. (2015). Leading and managing in nursing (6th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Mosby.