Trends and challenges in the nurse leader’s life and how to prepare for them
With the constant improvements in healthcare technology and shifting population demographics regarding age and longevity, the nurse leader has to adapt to new trends and challenges in the workplace. Recent trends mean new legislation, improved nursing methods, ongoing training,, and a more dynamic environment for nurse leaders and staff.
With the main focus nowadays on patient outcomes, nursing practice must consider the patient’s safety, values, preferences,, and beliefs. Providing a safe and pleasant environment for the staff and patients is also high on the list of priorities.
The online MSN leadership program at Rockhurst University combines critical thinking and decision-making with ethics and compassion, enabling you to achieve professional excellence. Nurse leaders focus on high-level administrative tasks, ensuring that policies and procedures are in place, that protocol is followed,, and that all organization facilities are functional, well-maintained, and comply with health and safety standards. They supervise nursing teams and set organizational goals,, with high-quality patient care being the main objective. This challenging yet rewarding position is highly regarded in healthcare organizations and may suit your dynamic personality.
Recently, medical practice has adopted evidence-based practice to standardize procedures and patient interventions, eliminating the possibility of error and enabling the nurse to practice confidently.
There have been studies that researched the type of environment that has an impact on healing rates and reduces stress. Patients identified the need for personal space, a welcoming atmosphere, and access to external recreational areas — factors a nurse leader can consider when designing a new wing or refurbishing existing rooms.
Caring for nurses
The medical facility will likely run smoothly when the staff is well looked after and happy. Contributors to a good working environment are pleasant surroundings, good remuneration, a manageable nurse-patient ratio, ,and recognition for a well-done job. People are generally willing to put in extra effort if they know it will be appreciated.
Nurses have been at the forefront of patient care during the pandemic, putting their lives at risk and working long hours, and it seems the horrors of the pandemic still linger on. Nurses are overworked and stressed, and numerous surveys indicate that many are about to quit their jobs. Now, more than ever, nurse leaders should play a role in the well-being of nursing staff by creating strategies that minimize stress and improve their work-life balance.
The current shortage of nursing staff looks like it will get worse as many nurses are near retirement while the general population is living longer and placing more strain on the healthcare system.
The nurse leader is responsible for the human resources function in the organization. With the shortage of medical staff, unhappy employees can seek employment elsewhere with relative ease. To avoid losing valuable personnel and the knowledge and continuity that go with them, it is up to the nurse leader to ensure that the staff receives adequate training and remuneration and that their work environment is pleasant. A well-maintained, safe work environment goes a long way toward keeping staff happy.
One of the challenges the nurse leader faces is reducing the long hours nurses work. Procuring the latest technology and putting systems in place to take care of administrative burdens enable nursing staff to work more efficiently, resulting in increased productivity, reduced costs, improved standards, and, ultimately, better patient outcomes.
Various organizations provide online support for nurses not coping with stress well. The American Nurses Association (ANA) has programs to combat stress. They provide holistic resources, therapy, access to numerous podcasts, stress-assessment programs,, and more. The nurse leader can organize the nurses’ room so nurses can rest, go online and watch the restorative material,, or study in their spare time.
There has been a shift toward formulating medical procedures based on a combination of research and clinical experience while considering patient preferences and values. Evidence-based practice enables nurses to work confidently and lessens the possibility of incorrect interventions and subsequent legal action. This evidence-based method is used to draw up specific practices that ultimately lead to improved quality and safety in the care of patients. Implementing these practices is not simple,, as they form part of a complex care system. Numerous options exist, and the organization can choose the procedures that best suit its methods or policies. These practices need to be documented by senior leadership to ensure that they are made available to all nursing staff in the facility and that they are adhered to.
Culture and ethics
Hospitals today are affected by population growth and the influx of people from foreign nations, bringing with them a variety of religious, cultural,, and ethnic requirements. Diet plays a big role in many cultures;;; there are specific foods that have cultural significance and often at particular times of the year. The rules governing religious diet are strict and should be considered. Religious beliefs, too, can necessitate different handling of patients. The nurse manager needs to be aware of the more common factors that should be considered. Building these factors into the admissions questionnaire covers most bases before the patient properly enters the facility. Cultural competence needs to be taught to nursing students as a preventative measure against racism, stereotyping, prejudice,,,,and unconscious bias.
The aging population
People live longer, according to statistics, and older adults generally have two or more chronic conditions once they reach the age of 60. Although the average life expectancy figure has dropped since 2020 with the onset of COVID-19, the average American is expected to live until age 76. This strains the medical system, particularly given the chronic conditions requiring treatment plans and follow-up consultations.
Creating treatment plans for individual patients lessens the load on the medical staff. By allowing patients to interact proactively with their medical practitioners and take care of their chronic illnesses independently of caregivers, patients are more likely to adhere to their treatment and recover.
State laws and policies are in place to protect patients, medical facilities,, and their staff. By maintaining the standards set by The Joint Commission, an independent non-profit organization that offers accreditation and certification, nurses are more likely to deliver quality care.
Quality assurance nurses are leaders, too, working closely with nursing management to ensure quality measures are in place. They check the credentials of nurses who are applying for registration and introduce quality care programs within the institution to keep nursing staff informed of safety standards. In the case of incidents, incident reports are filed and reviewed by quality assurance nurses. In the case of incidents, incident reports are filed and reviewed by quality assurance nurses. In the case of incidents, incident reports are filed and reviewed by quality assurance nurses.
The use of data analytics is becoming increasingly necessary in the fast-paced clinical environment, placing individual organizations in a position where they need to keep abreast of the times. The nurse leader ensures that the required systems are in place, employs qualified staff or consultants to manage the technology, and initiates the evaluation and implementation of new systems.
To successfully manage an organization, the information systems must be well-maintained and have a well-structured database to analyze the various areas within the organization. With efficient analytical tools, the nurse leader can obtain statistics regarding patients, their treatments and results, the financial and budget status of the organization, where costs can be streamlined, payroll statistics,, and much more. By analyzing the frequency of readmissions, for example, the nurse leader can identify problem areas in the organization. They can use analytics to predict disease outbreaks relative to the time of year, thus allowing for proactive management of staff requirements.
Incorporating new machinery into the hospital environment means that nurses must stay informed, learn how to use various machines,,, and analyze the results produced.
When making nurses’ lives easier, using technology to save time and manual labor enables nurses to spend more time with patients, instilling confidence and lowering stress levels, which allows faster healing. It also permits nurses to focus on the caring side of the job that attracted them to the profession in the first place.
Automation of tasks comes at a price, however. Robots can manage medication, transport supplies between locations, disinfect patients’ rooms, take blood samples, and keep patients company. This type of technology is expensive, but with efficient budgeting, the nurse leader may be able to motivate the procurement of time-saving technology to benefit patients, nurses,,, and the organization.
COVID-19 turned our world upside-down, forcing a lot of change and, in turn, innovation. One of the most notable changes was remote communication in business and healthcare. Online treatment of patients became widely practiced as it was a safe way to deal with infected patients and has evolved into a practice still being used today. Remote care, or telehealth care, has become a reality for treating people who live in isolated areas, connecting with patients with infectious diseases,,, or for people who cannot come to the hospital, such as prisoners.
Remote healthcare can be done in hospitals, clinics, ER centers,,, and doctors’ rooms. Nurses can set up a triage consultation in emergencies to assess the patient. In non-emergency situations, patients can test blood pressure or glucose levels, monitor oxygen levels and heart rates,,, and receive instructions on dressing a wound — all with remote care. This comes with the right equipment: web cameras, the internet, VOIP,,, or telephone lines. In a hospital or clinic setting, it would involve a sophisticated setup with supervision by a nurse leader to ensure that the right equipment is available and maintained, the nursing staff is trained to use the equipment,,, and nurses are available to take calls.
If there is a high demand, a remote care call center can be set up and manned around the clock. Nurses can work from home, if necessary, with access to a medical team at the hospital for consultation. All of this would have to be coordinated by someone in a management role. Nurses who practice telehealth care must be registered and comply with the American Nurses Association (ANA) or the American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nurses standards.
One of the roles of a nurse leader is to motivate staff and see to their educational needs. With online courses in every facet of nursing, the choice can be overwhelming for nurses starting their careers. Nurse leaders are trained to assess their nurses’ educational needs, help draw up individual career plans,,, and help them make the right decisions for their professional futures. With experience, nurses can decide where they feel comfortable working, what they are passionate about,,, and what they should study. The nurse leader should be available to give guidance regarding learning institutions and finances for study.
If there is enough interest, a room can be allocated for study, with computer equipment available so that nurses can study in their spare time or spend an hour or two studying before leaving for home. All of this requires budget, of course, and would possibly apply only to larger institutions.
Efficient teamwork improves patient outcomes and relieves the burden on physicians. With improved technology and communication channels, it is now easier for multidisciplinary teams to operate remotely and independently while keeping the team informed. The nurse leader makes this happen by ensuring the infrastructure is in place: communication lines are open for remote consultations, and medical equipment is made available to team members outside the organization.
Increased specialization of nurses
The increasing options for nurse specialization mean that the nurse leader needs to accommodate more options regarding salary structures and adjust the different specialist types in their staff structure. Staff planning becomes more complex, and it is not as easy to shuffle staff around when shortages occur in other areas unless there is a large contingent of specialized nurses at the facility.
With more than 350 languages spoken across the United States, bilingualism is necessary in a hospital setting. Rather than having people who translate for medical staff, it makes sense to build in a contingency of nursing staff who can speak a second language. Nurse leaders in larger organizations can plan for this more easily.
Holistic care is becoming more popular with people wanting a more balanced treatment: body, mind, spirit, and emotions. A gentle massage can do wonders for a bedridden patient, and some gentle yoga for the more mobile patients reduces stress and accelerates healing.
Holistic practice, such as massage, diet, exercise,,, and psychotherapy, enables patients to get involved in their healing processes by offering them choices for alternate therapy. A holistic center can be set up in larger organizations, and in smaller environments, various healing professionals can be called in a few times a week. Larger organizations could consider employing people with qualifications in one of the holistic practices or making an area on the premises available for a wellness clinic. Larger organizations could consider hiring people with capabilities in one of the holistic practices or creating a place on the premises available for a wellness clinic. Larger organizations could consider employing people with qualifications in one of the holistic practices or make making real on the premises available for a wellness clinic. Larger organizations could consider hiring people with capabilities in one of the holistic practices or creating an area on the premises available for a wellness clinic. Larger organizations could consider employing people with qualifications in one of the holistic practices or making an area on the premises available for a wellness clinic. Larger organizations could consider hiring people with capabilities in one of the holistic practices or creating a place on the premises available for a wellness clinic. Larger organizations could consider employing people who have qualifications in one of the holistic practices, or alternatively, make an area on the premises available for a wellness clinic. Larger organizations could consider employing people with qualifications in one of the holistic practices or create an area on the premises available for a wellness clinic. Larger organizations could consider hiring people with capabilities in one of the holistic practices or, make an area on the premises available for a wellness clinic. Larger organizations could consider employing people who have qualifications in one of the holistic practices, or alternatively, make an area on the premises available for a wellness clinic. Larger organizations could consider employing people who have qualifications in one of the holistic practices, or alternatively, make an area on the premises available for a wellness clinic.
One of the positive trends in nursing is the increased access to further study, which enables nurses to improve their qualifications and enhance their professional lives. Because of this trend, nurses are treated with more respect, and by the definition of their higher qualifications, they have more autonomy and increased job satisfaction.
Leadership in a dynamic hospital environment is exciting and inspirational in satisfyingly measurable terms. It’s a job with no boundaries — there is always something new and challenging to tackle, something to implement or improve upon in creative and innovative ways.