Why Should Shared Leadership Be Implemented? Calling all staff nurses! Have you ever wanted a voice as a staff nurse to help make decisions in your work environment and the care you provide to your patients? Great! Just sit back and relax while you hear about a leadership style that will allow you to be part of a team that works together to collaborate in making decisions. According to Watters (2009), “nursing leaders are continually seeking ways to improve the work environment in their organizations” p. 26. Shared leadership will allow nurses to control their practice as well as influence administrative areas.
This type of nursing leadership has been revitalized since the brand new nursing shortage (Hess, 2004). Shared leadership is a new concept to Beebe Medical Center (BMC). Recently, the cardiovascular operating room team implemented this style of leadership within their facility. Being a member of this team as an open heart operative nurse and sharing this type of leadership has been rewarding. It has allowed us to have more control of our working environment, accountability, ownership, and a better working relationship with our cardiac-thoracic surgeons.
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BMC wants to build a shared vision of a professional leadership model for nursing, and a work environment and culture devoted to nursing control over practice. Why is this happening you may ask? BMC wants to improve the nursing work environment, overall nursing satisfaction, and retention/recruitment of their nurses. What is Shared Leadership? According to Hess (2004), shared leadership is “an organizational model through which nurses control their practice as well as influence administrative areas. ” Shared leadership is a process that empowers staff to be part of making decisions and to solve problems as a group. Shared leadership is one in which staff members feel empowered to create a healthy environment toward a common goal of excellence in practice. ” (Fallis & Altimer, 2006) How does Shared Leadership work? Shared leadership gives health care professionals collective responsibility and accountability for practice by moving away from the hierarchical style of management to one where staff are involved in decision making processes. The managers are in a facilitative role rather than a controlling role. • Shared Leadership includes nurses and all staff involved. Nurses are responsible for decisions in their profession on a daily basis. These decisions are those that affect direct care and those that affect the environment in which they work. • Nurses and physicians work together in a way that promotes trust, respect, and joint contributions of knowledge, skill, and value to accomplish the goal of quality patient care. (Fallis & Altimer, 2006) • The critical component of shared leadership is communication. “Communication, cooperation, and decision making are a team approach toward the accomplishment of optimal patient care. (Fallis & Altimer, 2006) • Shared Leadership is not easy. It is a journey that can be long and steep. It is not a destination – there will be a constant process of renewal and birth. There are four basic principles of shared leadership that work together. They are partnership, equity, accountability, and ownership. • Partnership – It is the interaction between all members with the goal of achieving the same desired goals. • Equity- this principle assures that the opinions of every person in the unit are equally important and valued.
It also measures the integration of all members’ contributions toward the desired outcome. • Accountability – this defines roles and links them with outcomes to clarify each person’s expectations and contributions. “Individuals are not accountable to someone, but for the work one does. ” (Fallis & Altimer, 2006) • Ownership – this principle is required because it encourages all members on the team to participate to their fullest in decisions that affect the outcomes of their activities. Should shared leadership be implemented at your institution? Yes and no. shared leadership is not for everyone.
Shared leadership can have many bumps along the way. It is not conducive to every environment, and those in leadership roles need to be willing to shift their roles and power. • Shared Leadership leads to job satisfaction. “Nurses that feel involved and empowered will embrace their jobs with enthusiasm and excitement. ” (Fallis & Altimer, 2006) • Job satisfaction motivates the staff nurse to be more productive and happy, thus leading to job retention. • Shared Leadership fosters an environment where staff members are viewed equal and encourages working as a team.
Each team member will take accountability for their actions by owning their practice. In coming months, BMC will encourage and implement this style of leadership in other areas of nursing throughout the facility. The general surgery operative nursing staff at BMC will moan and groan about new changes and may not want to participate without a fuss. The fear of change may cause lots of anxiety. There may be some that will be excited about the new changes and will jump on the train for a ride in full force and give all they have in making changes.
Implementing this style of shared leadership will give BMC staff nurses a stronger voice into decisions regarding schedules, professional growth, practice and policy making, and better working relationships with surgeons. Implementing shared leadership will allow nursing staff to voice issues and concerns which will increase overall job satisfaction. It will also maximize resources while implementing a system that will enhance teamwork, create a positive work environment, and promote collegial relationships.
The nursing profession today requires leadership which empowers and enables them to lead their profession into the next millennium. The changes in health care delivery will make the move from bureaucratic management to effective leadership essential for all practicing nurses. This will assure that nurses will play an important role in the process of change. I ask you to think about this style of leadership and consider taking this information back to your facility. References Fallis, K. , & Altimer, L. (2006).
Shared Leadership: Leading from the bottom up. Newborn and Infant Reviews, 6(1), 6. Hess, R. G. (2004). From bedside to boardroom-nursing shared governance. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 9(2). Tim Porter-O’Grady Associates health care for the future) Porter-O’Grady, T. (2003-2008). Tim Porter-O’Grady Associates: Health care for the future. Retrieved December 6, 2009, from http://www. tpogassociates. com/home. htm Watters, S. (2009). Shared leadership: Taking flight. The Journal off Nursing Administration, 39(1), 26-29.