Why Training Nurse Leaders Matters

Rebecca Hendren, for HealthLeaders Media , August 16, 2011

The attendees were chief nursing officers, VPs and senior director levels, to ensure a peer environment where attendees were on similar levels. The program was so successful that UnitedHealth plans to offer it again.

What's important is that the program meets the unique needs and opportunities nurses face. "It's not a mini MBA, although some courses might resemble it," says Bazarko. "It's business education with a nursing perspective."

Bazarko believes the value to the organization will more than repay the expense of sending the nurse leaders for training. The nurses had to bring an idea for a leadership development project for their home organizations to work on during the course and then apply what they learned when they get home so they can drive a major change initiative.

"Despite pulling senior nursing leaders out of their jobs at very busy time in healthcare in our country, we wanted to provide them with lot of opportunity and enrichment in a short time," she says. "But we're always mindful of need for return. We're fairly confident that one year from now when we've implemented the projects, they will drive both quantitative and qualitative benefits."

Rebecca Hendren is a senior managing editor at HCPro, Inc. in Danvers, MA. She edits www.StrategiesForNurseManagers.com and manages The Leaders' Lounge blog for nurse managers. Email her at rhendren@hcpro.com.
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3 comments on "Why Training Nurse Leaders Matters"

Diana Rovira (8/30/2011 at 11:31 AM)
In response to the comment made by C. McCoy: You are never too old to add your education. Based on your comment about your facility eventually requiring RNs to have a BSN you would be very wise to obtain that degree while you are still employed. Based on my experience I can definitely say that if you lose your job at your age it is extremely difficult to find another job and may be impossible. I lost my job in 2005 39 days short of my 18th year with the organization. In 2008 I decided to pursue my MSN at the age of 51 in hopes of returning to active nursing practice. I graduated in June 2010. Since graduation I have put in over 100 job applications with very few interviews. In October I will turn 54 and I am still unable to find a nursing job despite having 20+ years of nursing experience in a variety of clinical areas, keeping my licensure active and maintaining certifications in BLS & ACLS. The excuses given by the nurse recruiters in my area is my lack of recent clinical experience. I have not been actively employed since 2005. I am now investigating the possibility of taking an RN re-entry course. Don't lose your job because you don't have a BSN. You might find yourself in the same situation I am in. With our economy the way it is now the job market is extremely tough. I have had to complete all of my job applications on-line.

R. Henn (8/17/2011 at 1:48 PM)
C.Coy I am in a similar situation. I was downsized post company merger in 2000. I had a BS in production management from a school of engineering at that time. I then earned my ASN. My plan was to combine my business acumen with my new clinical skills and knowledge to move into a leadership role in healthcare.I also earned my MBA. I eventually took a position with a large health insurance Co. in order to gain knowledge of the financial aspect of healthcare. I now have great perspective on healthcare, and I am pursuing a move into the provider side of healthcare. I want to bring my knowledge, skills, and experience to a leadership role from which I can contribute to the further success of an organization. It has been very difficult. My philosophy is that fresh eyes are great for an organization - at least for those that truly want change.

C McCoy (8/17/2011 at 10:31 AM)
I agree nurse leaders need business management education. But hospitals, especially those with Magnet designation, need to re-evaluate their core requirements for who can be titled "manager." I have a BS in management and 30 years of operations management experience, but am not qualified to be a manager in my Magnet hospital because I have an ADN. I was over 50 when I became an RN and will not be pursuing a BSN or higher as there would not be a return on that investment. It is likely my hospital will require all RNs to pursue a BSN. That's when they will lose my talent and experience. What a waste.




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