Nurse executives and leaders are the focal point of excellent patient care. They ensure the healthcare setting’s philosophy and mission manifest in the care, inspire teams to deliver top-quality care, and help healthcare leaders and governments create outstanding policies and practices. A nurse executive’s role combines some of the most crucial tasks, including administrative duties, team leadership, human resource and training activities, budgeting, and organizational problem-solving. As the most senior nurses in any healthcare facility, they liaise with other healthcare professionals while forging partnerships and growing networks with key healthcare players.
When taking a broader view, it is self-evident that nurse executives make a significant contribution to the entire healthcare industry by shaping policies, delivering excellence, and supporting teams in providing the best care for outstanding patient outcomes. This article delves into the value nurse executives furnish and how their work benefits everyone, from individual patients and families to healthcare staff teams and entire government health departments.
Nurse executives and the ever-expanding job brief
Without adequate leadership, nursing teams can become ineffective, resulting in deteriorating patient care. For the broader healthcare industry, nurse executives act as a point of contact between patients and frontline staff, management, and government health policymakers. The nurse executive role is one of the broadest and most influential as the actions and attitudes of nurse leaders impact not only nursing staff but also physicians, general operatives, and patients and loved ones. For those willing to take on the role, Baylor’s Online DNP – Executive Nurse Leadership program offers a 100% online education so you can advance in nursing without giving up your job.
Such is the span of their influence that nurse executives must display first-rate communication skills, distinguished analytical skills, and exemplary social capabilities and empathy. They must educate, lead, collaborate, and network while focusing on the minutiae of patient care and the overarching principles and structures governing the healthcare industry.
Benefits for staff
As nurses outnumber any other healthcare professional in clinics and hospitals, first-class nurse leadership is essential. They guide teams and inspire them to deliver outstanding care while advocating for their staff regarding working conditions and pay. Nurse executives collaborate with doctors, therapists, and facility management while driving excellence in patient care.
A dynamic nurse leader displaying all the essential qualities of a robust leader serves as a role model while providing much-needed guidance and support. By maintaining high standards in patient care, nurse leaders ensure that staff can deliver improving patient outcomes. Nurse leaders empathize with patients, families and nursing staff, drawing from their in-depth knowledge and expansive experience.
The healthcare practices in any facility evolve, leaving nurse executives with the task of ensuring that staff keep abreast of changes and implement them into their everyday work practices on an ongoing basis. Removing obstacles and advocating management on behalf of staff are part of an effective nurse leader’s job remit.
Nursing staff teams lacking stellar stewardship will likely fail in their mission and duty to patients, leaving them vulnerable and without the necessary attention and diligence.
Effects on patient outcomes
Patients benefit from the excellence of nurse executives in the care they receive through well-managed nurse teams. As nurse executives also cater to the overall operation of a healthcare facility, patients receive better care in the presence of first-class leadership. By maintaining rigorous care standards and motivating teams, nurse leaders put patient care at the heart of their work, even if they rarely work on the front line.
Patient participation, whereby patients have an input into their treatment, is one aspect of care likely to play an increasing role in healthcare. A recent study at a Dutch university medical center revealed the importance of nurse executives acting as role models.
Although the value of the participation of patients is well-established, nurses are reluctant for fear of appearing unprofessional. Only strong nursing leadership to encourage nurses to involve patients when creating treatment plans. Dedicated nursing stewardship can improve care and ensure patients can participate and benefit from their input. A competent nurse executive leads the way, thus shaping the partnership between nurses and patients.
Shaping a nation’s healthcare system
Nurses can get frustrated by policies and policymakers lacking understanding and experience. More often than not, those creating healthcare guidelines have no first-hand insight into the healthcare system. A growing number of nurses and nurse leaders are campaigning for greater participation in shaping healthcare structures and policies. Some nurse executives take roles at local government level to impact decision-making. Some collaborate with politicians to bring about change, while others join city or community councils for the same reason.
Nursing leaders see involvement in policy creation as a moral and ethical duty. With four million registered nurses working in the U.S. alone, it makes sense that nurse executives step up and help government agencies improve the healthcare system.
In the near future, you will likely see nurse leaders or nursing organizations pen white papers and position statements to educate politicians and lawmakers responsible for healthcare structures and legislation. By sharing their insights, experience, and exhaustive knowledge, nurse executives can ensure that governments prioritize creating a smoothly run and effective healthcare system. They must also instruct nursing teams to be vocal in their advocacy for patients at their healthcare facility, in the wider community, and the entire state.
On a final note
Few people would argue with the fact that nurses are the glue that keeps the healthcare system together. Every hospital, private clinic, or healthcare center is highly dependent on nurses and, by extension, on quality nurse leaders. The entire healthcare system stands and falls on the effectiveness of nurse executives, leading teams, collaborating with other healthcare professionals, partnering with management, and maintaining top-level patient care.
Lawmakers and politicians must take note, draw from the invaluable knowledge and experience nurse executives bring to the table, and use them to build a stellar healthcare system.