Organizational Analysis: The Nurse Leader

Leaders play a vital role in organizations by providing direction, skills, and tools needed for teams to function effectively. In the field of nursing, nurses are led by nurse managers whose role is provide the crucial tools, and inspire them to become leaders in their future career. Nurse leaders are passionate and committed to their role, and seek to make a difference in their respective units, organization, and with their patients and employees. Effective leadership requires one to possess crucial special qualities, including critical thinking, good communication skills, conflict resolution competencies, and stress management skills, among others. This paper discusses the behaviors and characteristics of my nurse leader who serves as the manager in my current facilities. It also explores the various attributes that the leader brings to our workplace, and a critique of the effectiveness of her leadership skills and communication.

Nurse Manager

I have been shadowing Ms. Lisa Vela, FNP, MBA the current manager nurse practitioner at Windsor Arbor View. Vela possesses extensive past experience as a Stepdown and Emergency Room (ER) Nurse. In a bid to diversify her skills, she pursued training as a Cath Lab Nurse, and worked in the catheterization lab of a local hospital for four years. While working in the lab, she pursued a Master’s in Business Administration (Strategic Management). The degree equipped her with crucial leadership and management skills that enabled her to qualify for her current position. Therefore, she quickly took the position of assistant manager nurse practitioner at the nursing & rehab facility. She served at the position for two years and transitioned to an Interim Manager, where she worked for eight months before taking up the current position of Department Administrator. She has worked in the capacity of department administrator for six months so far.

Vela’s major responsibilities include staffing, holding monthly meetings with nurses in charge, auditing, budgeting, ensuring that the facility and the staff are in compliance with the set guidelines and laws, and meeting all organizational goals. Her other roles include creating schedules, ensuring that policies and procedures are adhered to, monitoring staff attendance, conducting a 90-day evaluation for new nurses, and performing an annual employee review. Vela also works closely with the facility’s educator in ensuring that staff is up-to-date with new equipment, procedures, and policies. Typically, Vela’s day begins with attending morning meetings, answering emails, and receiving reports from the nurses in charge of the rounding and current census of patients. If not in meetings, Vela is engaged in checking HEDIs measures and developing strategies for improving the measures and updating staff of upcoming competencies.

Moreover, in terms of participation in professional organizations, Vela is a member of the American Nurses Association (ANA). The professional body aims at advancing the nursing profession and representing the interests of registered nurses (ANA, 2016). She also subscribes to the Nursing Management journals addressing a broad range of topics, including ethical and legal aspects of nursing leadership, quality control, budgeting, employee retention and recruitment, and personnel management.

Nurse Leader

Vela mainly adopts a democratic leadership style. She strongly embraces an open door policy where every employee is free to share their ideas and concerns. According to Liggett (2020), democratic leaders ensure that employees are internally motivated by including them in the decision-making process. In this context, Vela ensures that everyone in the unit is involved when making major decisions. Notably, Vela handles responsibility by getting feedback from all staff in leadership positions, including the nurses in charge. Further, when implementing new ideas, she holds small meetings with the staff to get their opinions and announce the new changes. An example of how Vela handles responsibility as a leader is resolving and managing conflicts in the facility.

Vela emphasizes on maintaining a stress-free workplace. To achieve this, she encourages staff to report issues or problems directly to her as soon as they emerge. The approach helps her come up with solutions that meet the needs of all the parties involved quickly, and avoid unnecessary conflicts. Moreover, the strategy helps in avoiding piling up unresolved issues, which may undermine her effectiveness as a manager. Labrague et al. (2018) argue that poor conflict resolution is one of the major factors leading to unmotivated staff and high turnover rates. In this context, Vela’s approach to conflict management is highly effective since it aims at minimizing and avoiding extensive conflicts that may create a hostile and tense environment, therefore lowering staff productivity.

Another example that demonstrates how Vela handles responsibility is flexibility and creativity in managing personnel. Presently, the facility is experiencing staff deficits. However, Vela is committed to ensuring that the facility continues to offer high-quality services to the clients. The program she has implemented allows all calls to directly go to work phones instead of only the secretary. I find this idea great since it enables staff to respond to patient’s needs quickly. However, the effectiveness of the idea is unclear, and more evaluation is needed since the phones ring continuously, and patients are beginning to complain of disturbance.

In addition, Vela possesses outstanding leadership skills, including active listening, flexibility, and creativity. Often, Vela makes an effort to hold individual meetings with each staff member to discuss their problems, and get feedback on what should be improved to make the unit more efficient. On several instances, I have met to discuss about my thoughts on the work environment, and what I feel should change to make it better. From my perspective, this is an ideal approach for building a good relationship with the staff, and reassuring them of their importance and role as part of the team.

Communication

Leaders utilize different communication styles in the organizational context. An example of one of the styles that Vela shares is downward communication. Mainly, she utilizes this approach when delegating to the nurses in charge. According to Bisel and Rush (2021), the approach is highly effective in communicating information and instructions to be shared to other team members. Moreover, the approach is effective since it allows the manager to give and receive feedback regarding whether what was delegated was successful. Further, Vela encourages upward communication, which involves junior staff communicating with the manager or others in senior levels. An example of how Vela uses this style is when she encourages nurses to share their concerns about the working environment, including issues such as lack of adequate equipment. Such communication is crucial at the unit since it helps minimize conflicts, ensure the delivery of quality services, and achieve improved health outcomes for patients. On the other hand, peer communication involves exchanging or sharing information among individuals within the same hierarchy level (Bisel & Rush, 2021). In this context, Vela often liaises with managers in other departments to share ideas regarding how they can work together to achieve the overall goals of the organization.

Vela emphasizes the need for staff to respect each other to achieve a more effective work environment. Broadly, I feel that she is doing a great job in her position. Based on the instances I have interacted with her directly, her communication skills are outstanding and highly effective. She is an active listener, a team player, and always seeks to get feedback from members of the department to improve the work environment. However, to become a more effective communicator, I recommend that she should be more empathetic with the nurses. She should understand that some incidences with the patients are beyond their control despite having policies and procedures that should be followed to ensure patient safety.

References

American Nurses Association (ANA). (2016). About ANA. Nursingworld.org. http://www.nursingworld.org/FunctionalMenuCategories/AboutANA

Bisel, R.S., & Rush, K.A. (2021). Communication in organizations. In J.M. Peiro (Ed.), Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Psychology. Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190236557.013.866

Labrague, L.J., Al Hamdan, Z., & McEnroe‐Petitte, D.M. (2018). An integrative review on conflict management styles among nursing professionals: Implications for nursing management. Journal of Nursing Management, 26(8), 902-917. https://doi.org/10.1111/jonm.12626

Liggett, R. (2020). Toward a conceptualization of democratic leadership in a professional context. Canadian Journal of Educational Administration and Policy, 193, 115-127. http://orcid.org/0000-0003-1816-6546