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Concepts in Nursing Management

by Alison Green

Nursing management involves providing leadership within organizations that employ nurses. It focuses on getting nurses to use their technical abilities and conceptual and interpersonal skills to deliver quality health care services. As a nurse manager, you must have an intricate understanding of concepts in nursing management, such as planning, human resources management, communication, quality improvement, team building, organizing and decision making.

Human Resources Management

Although the American Association of Colleges of Nursing expects the shortage of registered nurses to intensify as the need for health care grows, health facilities can provide high-quality services through effective nursing management. Nurse managers use their training in human resources management to ensure their units are functioning efficiently. With a shortage of nurses, they look for ways to improve the performance of available nurses. For instance, a nurse manager can conduct performance appraisals or enroll nurses in training and development workshops. Improved compensation and benefits and better technical skills can motivate nurses to do more work, temporarily easing a crisis.

Decision Making

Nurse managers make decisions to solve specific problems that arise on a day-to-day basis. For instance, if a pharmaceutical supplier delays delivering ordered drugs, the nurse makes a quick decision to address the issue. She can, for instance, ask the procurement officer to purchase drugs for use until the supplier delivers the products. In general, individuals in nursing management positions should be quick thinkers and problem solvers. A good manager is sensitive to factors that can affect her decision-making, such as the nature of the situation and the resources spent in implementation.

Quality Assessment

All nursing services offered by a health facility need evaluation for quality from time to time. This helps ensure health care services meet required standards. Nurse managers use the quality assessment concept to evaluate the performance of the hospital staff in accordance with institutional policies and federal and state laws. They often establish objectives that nurses should pursue in order to maintain high-quality care for patients. For instance, a nurse manager can ask nurses in her staff to enlist with one or more professional nursing associations, where they can interact with other nurses and share views on how to improve health care services.

Succession Planning

Health care organizations are highly competitive and require skilled employees to take nursing management positions. Succession planning is the concept of ensuring junior staff can move up the career ladder to replace retiring or reassigned managers. Nurse managers play an important part in implementation of this concept. A good nurse manager nurtures leadership talent within the organization to support individuals who can assume managerial duties in her absence. To achieve this, nurse managers can create mentorship programs where they train junior nurses to develop specific skills crucial to excelling in nursing management.

About the Author

Based in New York City, Alison Green has been writing professionally on career topics for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in “U.S. News Weekly” magazine, “The Career” magazine and “Human Resources Journal.” Green holds a master's degree in finance from New York University.

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