Nursing The Greatest Challenges Facing Nursing Leadership Essay

Length: 4 pages Sources: 4 Subject: Health - Nursing Type: Essay Paper: #58283232 Related Topics: Nursing, Nursing Philosophy, Nursing Career, Managerial Challenges
Excerpt from Essay :


The greatest challenges facing nursing leadership and the profession as a whole include, but are not limited to, "highly political environments, budget reductions, changing reimbursement patterns, staffing shortages, and rapidly evolving technological advances," (Schmidt, 2006, p. 34). In addition to these environmental and organizational challenges, nurses and nurse leaders contend with issues related to communications, public relations, and personal psychological barriers to greatness. Nurses are endowed with more formal and informal types of power than in the past, expanding the locus of the profession from bedside care towards policy making and administration.

Nurses and nurse leaders can influence the regulatory mandates that govern and guide nursing practice. In fact, nurses and nurses alone are entrusted with the responsibility of developing and changing regulatory mandates that impact the nursing profession in particular. Regulatory mandates that do not impinge directly upon nursing, or which have a broader application in health care, may be presided over by more than just nurses. State laws and administrative regulations impact nurses, but nurses often do not have direct influence on the development of those mandates. Healthcare is a diverse and complex profession, and nurses are only one -- albeit core -- component of any institution.

How to cultivate and wield power effectively has become the cornerstone of the nursing profession. Nurses are now engaged in administrative activities and policy making, impacting the health of individuals and whole communities. Healthcare policies and procedures are influenced by nurses and nurse leaders. Federal policies related to healthcare: such as nutritional guidelines or anti-smoking campaigns, can be spearheaded by nurses. Therefore, all nurses need to be aware of the scope of their profession and the difference they can make in improving healthcare and health outcomes.


Schmidt, K. (2006). The invention of a nurse leader. Nurse Leader. Retrieved online:


The structure of nursing education is subsequently changing to reflect the different status and role of nurses in their communities and healthcare organizations. These changes present significant challenges and opportunities for all nurses and nurse leaders.

Nurses are engaged both in role-based and task-based practices. Nurse leaders may perceive themselves as more role-based than task-based, and yet both aspects of nursing come into play no matter what position the individual serves. In California, the role of the Registered Nurse differs significantly from that of the LPN, because the latter is viewed more as a technician than a potential future leader. However, all LPNs have the potential to be nurse leaders should they choose to do so. Nurse leaders will end up engaging more in a tract that involves public policy, administration, politics, and communications. Their core professional goals must also relate to patient care, but patient care becomes part of the rubric of nurse leadership. A nurse leader should always remain grounded in bedside practice; or else nurse administration becomes too detached from the actual practice of caring for patients.

One challenge that nurse leaders face is striking the right balance between role-based and task-based aspects of the profession. Nurse leaders do need the freedom to develop their professional skills by focusing on managerial tasks and policy making. Nurse technicians do need to focus on evidence-based practice and providing the best care within their institutions. Combining these two major objectives of the nursing profession requires creativity and critical thinking. Developing creativity and critical thinking are the primary challenges for nurses in the future. "The skills and knowledge base of consultancy, underpinned by a strong nursing foundation, augmented by strong leadership and combined with the educator and researcher functions, are presented as the attributes of the advanced practitioner/consultant nurse," (Manley, 2007, p. 179). Shifting the image of nurses…

Sources Used in Documents:


Robinson, S.E., Roth, S.L. & Brown, L.L. (1993). Morale and job satisfaction among nurses: What can hospitals do? Journal of Applied Social Psychology 23(3): 244-251.

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