Consideration must be given to the optimal number of individual employees (not FTEs) a nurse manager can be responsible for if nurse managers are expected to have relationships with staff. It is necessary to reconsider the enormity of the nurse manager role and recalibrate if the scope becomes too large to maintain contact with the direct care staff. Invest in Nurse Manager support for Development of Staffing, Financial Acumen and Compliance The study findings indicate that an emphasis for nurse manager development be placed on effective staffing and retention strategies while balancing cost initiatives. Many managers are not prepared with the essential skills of developing staffing guidelines, putting out a balanced staffing schedule and monitoring overtime expenses. Managing productivity, putting together routing capital requests, and keeping multimillion dollar operation budgets on track takes support and assistance. The other area in which managers need support is accreditation and compliance. Currently there are literally thousands of quality and compliance standards that apply to healthcare organizations and there is no way for a manager to have knowledge of them
123 all. Support and resources need to be available to managers so that they can operationalize them on their units. Focus on Communication Achieving organizational goals is all about communication – clarifying, motivating, team dynamics, sense-making, negotiation, presenting and influencing and building feedback loops. Building interpersonal relationships is foundational to the success of nurse managers. Some of the most important aspects of communication take the form of listening and showing gratitude, which is key in the role. This can take many forms including sending a card, an email acknowledgement, a handwritten note, a phone call or special recognition. Practicing and learning key written and verbal communication strategies with the notion of using key words at key times is essential to the development of any nurse managers. Simulation and practice of these skills is a recommendation for this role regardless of level of experience. Practice The practice environment today is noted to be fast paced, filled with high intensity patients and complex systems involving technology and information overload. The challenges for nurse managers to direct care at the unit-level in today’s environment requires specific knowledge and skills. Recommendations for practice in this regard include the provision of focused and systematic development of these nurse leaders so that they are equipped with an understanding of what skills are needed and able to seek development in the areas in which they have opportunity. The Chase Nurse Manager Competency Instrument can be used as a valid and reliable assessment tool to determine
124 areas of focus. It is recommended that the instrument headings be revised to reflect the five categories of the AONE (2005) framework model providing consistency in the naming of the categories with this professional organization.
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