EffectiveApproaches in Leadership and Management
The nurse staffing ratio is an issue that has been a debate with themedical community even seeking the government to specify the minimumstaffing laws that will perhaps settle the dilemma. In fact,California has been at the forefront in implementing the minimumstaffing laws in a bid to make the operations in the hospitals moreefficient (Cook et al., 2012). The staffing laws have led to variousarguments, and some states have ignored the plea to implement thelaws since they deem them as unnecessary. For instance, the hospitalseven keep complaining that the staffing laws will reduce theauthority and the ability to implement important staffing decisions(Cook et al., 2012). Apart from that, it can end up being a financialburden if the hospital cannot employ and maintain the minimum numberof staff needed. The nursing unions have revealed that some of thehospitals might even employ few nurses as long as they meet theminimum staffing laws yet, the same number of nurses will not servethe patients effectively (Cook et al., 2012). All in all, theappropriate number of nurses reduces stress and job burnout thatmight interfere with the efficiency of their operations. A medicalinstitution might rely on the leadership and management to controlthe nurse-to-patient ratios and make sure that the operations areefficient as expected. More importantly, the paper will reveal how amanager assigns roles and shifts to the nurses in handling the nursestaffing ratio while a leader will focus on motivating the nurses andensuring they are satisfied so that they will make informeddecisions.
Nursing management often needs one to look atthe operations that the medical institution undertakes and the rolesthat each of the nurses plays. Apart from that, the managers are theones that will also monitor the performance and the accuracy of theirefforts in undertaking each of the roles they have (Kilgore etal., 2013). The nurse staffing ratiosmight influence the manager’s work since theshortage of the staff might increase the likelihood of the nursescommitting mistakes while undertaking those roles. In fact, suchmistakes might even result in the patients being treated improperlyor even risking the lives of some patients. More importantly, thenurses need to have the accuracy and the ability to be active duringthe entire shift since the medication and treatment expect them tomake informed decisions (Kilgore et al., 2013).The managers will have to deal with the staff present even if theyare assigned a low nurse-to-patient ratio. Hence, the manager isexpected to analyze the work environment and ensure that each nursehas been assigned a role. Besides that, the manager is also supposedto create work schedules that will make sure the nurses workefficiently with enough rest and coordination too. For instance, amanager will look at the work schedules and ensure that the nursethat had a longer shift had enough time to rest and recover to reduceany chances of burnout.
On the other hand, leadership is quitedifferent than management since a leader might be anyone in theinstitution as long as he or she has the required skills. A managermust be assigned such a position in contrast to a leader. A manageris also supposed to assign each of the nurses the roles they shouldundertake during their shifts. However, a leader’s responsibilitiesinclude motivating and inspiring the other nurses so that they willachieve the organizational or departmental goals (Wong et al.,2013). Hence, a leader in the medicalinstitution will urge the other nurses to work diligently knowingthat they are helping the patients. In fact, the leadership will bemore about the relationship between the leaders and the subordinatesand the other nurses too. The nurses that are well-motivated willhave the morale to work and prioritize accuracy in their efforts. Aleader will also focus on nurturing teamwork and collaboration amongthe nurses to ensure that they achieve the positive health outcomes(Wong et al., 2013). For instance, withteamwork even a low nurse-to-patient ratio will not be a problem in ahospital. The leader will be able to make the other nurses understandthat the institution has a low nurse-to-patient ratio, and theircommitment will be the only solution. Hence, a leader will urge thenurses to understand the situation and focus on making the hospital abetter place. The other nurses will have respect the leader willautomatically prioritize the health of the patients.
Personally, I prefer the relational leadershipmodel since it prioritizes the wellbeing of the other nurses too.More importantly, it reduces the formality that exists between theseniors and the junior officers. In this case, the relational modelfocuses on the leader focusing on others and even including theirideas and suggestions in the plans and decisions implemented (Wonget al., 2013). Often, as a leader, I prefersupporting others and making them feel like they are part of theorganization. In some cases, the nurses might feel less motivatedbecause the managers assign them specific roles and expect them tofinish before the end of their respective shifts. The scenario mightmake them feel like they are not appreciated since they are beingused as tools to finish the tasks. In fact, with the relationalleadership, I will improve the nurse-to-patient ratio sincethat is an essential part of their work as well. For instance, I willensure that the nurse with the longest shift has the least number ofpatients while the one with a shorter shift has more patients. In theprocess, I will be considering their wellbeing and reduce the casesof burnout and stress. As a result, the nurses will prioritizeaccuracy in their activities and ensure that they make informeddecisions that will help the patients too (Wong et al., 2013). All inall, I believe that my choice that is the relationalleadership model will be quite effective in ensuring that the nurseswork as expected in ensuring that they coordinate to make their worka bit easier as well.
In conclusion, the nurse-to-patientratio might be handled with a leader and a manger and each of themwill understand a way to make it more interesting. More specifically,a manager often will assign the nurses the specific roles that theyshould undertake in their shifts. The manager will be responsible forthe time that each shift lasts and the number of the patients theyshould serve. On the other hand, a leader plays an informal rolewhere he or she motivates the other nurses and ensure that they worktowards the organizational goals. Research proves that satisfactionis one of the important components that improve the performance ofthe nurses. Hence, the leadership tends to handle the nurses in amost appropriate way since it encourages them to prioritize thepatients regardless of the situation. For instance, a leader willensure that a nurse with a long shift has to deal with fewer patientswhile the one with the shorter shift will have many patients. Infact, the entire scenario fits with my philosophy that it is therelational leadership model. The theory assertson the leader nurturing important relationships with the other nursesand makes sure that they work towards the organizational goals.
Cook, A., Gaynor, M., Stephens Jr, M., & Taylor, L. (2012). Theeffect of a hospital nurse staffing mandate on patient healthoutcomes: Evidence from California`s minimum staffing regulation.Journal of Health Economics, 31(2), 340-348.
Kilgore, R. V., Goodwin, M. E., & Harding, R. A. (2013). Addingcontext to a simulation module for leadership and managementbaccalaureate nursing students. Journal of Nursing Education andPractice, 3(9), 148.
Wong, C. A., Cummings, G. G., & Ducharme, L. (2013). Therelationship between nursing leadership and patient outcomes: asystematic review update. Journal of nursing management,21(5), 709-724.