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Articles, case studies, and success stories to guide and inspire healthcare HR, Organizational Development, and Clinical professionals.


It’s Time to Be Deliberate About Nursing Leadership Succession chardyadmin
Nursing leadership and nursing management often are used as interchangeable terms, but they refer to two different things. Put simply, nurse leaders help influence a hospital’s high-level strategy, while nurse managers are charged with executing that strategy on a day-to-day basis. 

According to HRSA, about one-third of RNs are over age 50, and most nurses in leadership positions are even older. As this segment of the work force begins to retire, it’s a mistake to assume that first-level nurse supervisors and nurse managers will be ready to take over for your facility’s CNO without a deliberate succession plan in place. 

The Evolution of Nursing Leaders
The path to nursing leadership has evolved in recent years. In the past, nurses only took on administrative responsibilities once they had proven themselves in a clinical setting — an advanced degree in management was not required. Today, the nursing leadership landscape demands that nurses seek out business expertise in addition to clinical training, including degrees and certifications, if they hope to be promoted to a leadership role. As such, healthcare organizations must be more proactive than ever in steering nursing professionals toward the management track.

Unfortunately, many health systems and hospitals still are deficient in their succession planning efforts, according to the National Healthcare Leadership Index survey conducted by National Center for Healthcare Leadership (NCHL). Only 8 percent of nursing leader respondents reported they received “a great deal”’ of succession planning.

Grooming Leaders From Within
Succession planning should comprise the careful process of identifying and nurturing a pool of internal candidates as emerging leaders. Ideally, current leaders should become mentors to this group, grooming them with intention. The candidates should have easy access to continuing education resources and professional development opportunities, and they should be encouraged to take advantage of them. Aside from valuable institutional knowledge, developing new leaders from within your organization just makes good financial sense — it is much more costly to replace a high-ranking officer from the outside than develop an internal candidate. 

According to Medscape, a top characteristic to look for in prospective nurse leaders is the potential to be a “transformational leader.” These people are adept at identifying needed changes, guiding those changes by inspiring others, and instilling a company-wide commitment to make change happen. Transformational leadership has been shown to improve nurse satisfaction at the unit level, promote a positive work environment and reduce turnover. According to AONE, nurse executive leadership competencies should also include foundational thinking skills, personal journey lessons and systems thinking. 

Mitigating the Stress of Succession
Because there likely will be a major transition among nursing leadership during the next decade, NCHL offers best practices to minimize and mitigate the trauma of this transition. Effective succession planning should be integral to the hospital’s culture and foster clear communication that stresses succession planning as an organizational priority. NCHL also recommends involvement and ownership in succession planning by senior management; use of a leadership competency model; rigorous assessment of leadership candidates with a focus on retaining them; encouraging those candidates to stretch their skills and perspectives; implementing formal professional development plans that emphasize on-the-job training; and ongoing measurement and evaluation to ensure the succession plan is on track.

In order to assure continuity of nursing leadership, a seamless transition at retirement, minimal financial impact and uninterrupted staff and patient satisfaction, hospitals must be strategic in their succession planning sooner rather than later. Start planning for the future of your facility today.

 

SOURCES:

http://bhpr.hrsa.gov/healthworkforce/reports/nursingworkforce/nursingworkforcefullreport.pdf#sthash.PUGzTCxa.dpuf

http://bhpr.hrsa.gov/healthworkforce/rnsurveys/rnsurveyfinal.pdf

http://www.nchl.org/Documents/Ctrl_Hyperlink/doccopy5800_uid6102014456192.pdf

http://www.nchl.org/Documents/Ctrl_Hyperlink/doccopy5322_uid11420131046251.pdf

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/771912_2

http://www.aone.org/resources/nec.pdf





'Talent Garden' at University Health System of San Antonio chardyadmin

University Health System’s (UHS) focus on its front line employees is delivering outstanding outcomes that it’s Talent Development strategy has been designed to deliver.  With an 81% student/employee job advancement rate for a group of its frontline employees, UHS has created an environment that is supportive of employee growth and organizational success.   Appropriately termed their “Talent Garden”, UHS has created an environment where everyone can thrive.

 

The Talent Garden’s recently graduated its first ECHO skill development cohort for mid-level associates who are now well on their way to achieving big career dreams and goals.  And, while turnover costs make retention an obvious organizational priority, UHS’ efforts are still at the cutting edge of frontline engagement trends.

 

Studies show that highly engaged employees report that they experience ALL of these and more:

·         an opportunity to learn and grow,

·         are encouraged to seek development,

·         have a manager that cares about them

·         they view their job as important

·         and someone talks about their progress

 

The Executive Director of the Center for Learning Excellence, Jacque Burandt, provided all of these when she chose to offer the ECHO program. “We have lots of programs, not just for directors and managers, but also for the front line,” says Jacque. “We are always working on two paths, better skill development in whatever your job is, then secondly, where do you want to go in the big vision of the health system.”

 

According to Jacque Burandt, Executive Director of UHS’s Center for Learning Excellence, “the ECHO program supports their philosophy of promoting from within.  ECHO offers a unique opportunity for the organization to fill a gap that often prevents non clinical employees from having the tools and educational foundation necessary to successfully transition to more advanced roles within the system, should they so choose.”  ECHO’s delivery format is designed for the adult learner, incorporating multiple learning modalities while at the same time providing a foundation for increased confidence, academic discipline, and formal career planning.

 

The quotes below show some of the successes thus far and just how well participants used and appreciated the opportunity:

 

"I hope that UHS can continue with programs like this one, to show their employees this company cares about continuing education." - Irma Beltran, ECHO graduate.

 

"I currently work in the Patient Business Services Department. The ECHO program has inspired me to go back to school.  I plan to go to St. Phillips for nursing. I appreciate all you do for us."

 

"The ECHO Program...was an opportunity I could not pass up.  It has helped me in getting motivated to go back to school.  I am enrolled with Concordia University and pursuing my Bachelors in Healthcare Administration."

 

"I am attending Southern Careers Institute and am working towards receiving my Medical Coding Certification.  The ECHO program gave me the opportunity to see that I am not too old to go back to school and pursue my dreams."



Looks like UHS certainly has some future leaders on their hands!  Fifteen total employees were chosen to participate in ECHO, 12 of those completed the program - an 80% completion rate.  ECHO was facilitated by a former School at Work program graduate, Laura Hernandez.  She found her passion for helping others through that experience and has since earned a Bachelors in Healthcare Administration which she puts to good use at UHS.

 

Certainly outcomes are very important and the Talent Garden continues to track them for this first class.  Be on the lookout for the continuation of this story as results come in!