The word “nursing” typically conjures up images of direct patient care, but roles are varied, with nurses holding administrative positions too. Both clinical and nonclinical nursing jobs focus on quality, safety and cost efficiency, which are essential to upholding the standards of the nursing practice. A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in Administrative Leadership in Nursing prepares nurses to address healthcare reform and incorporate changes to improve patient outcomes.
What Is the Role of a Nurse Administrator?
The role of nurse administrators varies according to the healthcare facility where they work. Typically, nurse administrators are responsible for overseeing nursing staff and supervising department members to ensure that patients receive optimal care. Some of a nurse administrator’s responsibilities may also include:
- Recruiting and retaining nursing staff
- Hiring and firing of nurses
- Evaluating staff performance
- Managing departmental budgets
- Setting policies and procedures
How Can Nurse Administrators Implement Change?
Nurse administrators may have a role to play in reshaping methods of care, while looking for ways to best utilize nurses when applying those new methods. Nursing staff may sometimes resist adopting new procedures, techniques or equipment. For example, the shift from fee-for-service to value-based care requires nurses to broaden their nursing role to include educating patients about how to self-manage health conditions and sustain wellness.
To enable a smooth transition, nurse administrators may need to come up with strategies to help nurses adapt to the new approach. Nurse administrators can use these techniques to execute change and achieve their goals.
Communication: Nurse administrators should inform nurses about process and procedural modifications and answer their questions. Involving their staff in the process can help alleviate uncertainty and instill a sense of agency.
Education: Before implementing a change, nurse administrators can teach nursing staff about the change and explain how it will impact them, their patients and the facility. They can educate nurses through seminars or workshops. In addition, they can offer one-on-one coaching.
Teamwork: By promoting teamwork, nurse administrators can instill an atmosphere of togetherness in carrying out changes. As a team, nurses can solve problems that may hinder the implementation of a change.
How Can Nurse Administrators Influence Policies?
Nurse administrators can influence policies by enriching the nursing practice with their insights. Their knowledge, skills and experience are helpful in identifying issues and working out solutions that can result in innovative policies or necessary revisions to existing procedures. Nurse administrators can influence policymaking by doing the following:
- Meeting with experts on a topic of concern
- Collaborating with other nurse leaders
- Building working relationships with stakeholders
- Sharing views with policymakers
- Joining professional nursing organizations
What Can Nurse Leaders Do to Aid Their Staff?
Nurse administrators can provide guidance and support to their staff. They can also encourage nurses to remain focused on the tasks at hand. Taking the time to counsel nurses dealing with complicated cases or demanding patients is helpful too.
How Do Nurse Leaders Help Patients?
Firm leadership is vital to producing a higher rate of recovery for patients and for maintaining their well-being. Effective nurse leaders work to control or prevent conflicts so there is no disruption in patient care. Nurse leaders must ensure that nursing staff and team members cooperate and coordinate their efforts so patients receive exceptional care.
At the administrative level, nurse leaders who promote evidence-based practice, advocacy and policy changes can enhance patient care, reduce waste and bolster financial stability. Taking this approach makes nurse leaders powerful change agents who help a healthcare organization realize its mission. In addition, nurse leaders with strong motivational skills can help their staff successfully navigate transitions in the nursing practice.