Nursing is an essential part of healthcare activities. While physicians diagnose and treat patients, nurses care for people in hospitals and organize the entire treatment process. Modern medical reforms have made nurses assume more responsibilities, which directly involve patient treatment. An important role in managing nurses’ activities belongs to chief nursing officers (CNOs), who occupy the leadership positon and encourage nurses to perform their working responsibilities better. CNOs play an important role in a nursing team; since they increase the professional level of nurses and make nursing care comply with the requirements of the current healthcare reform.
The first goal CNOs should achieve in managing nurses is to promote nursing professional growth and motivate them for safe and efficient performance when dealing with patients through nursing boards. Nurses should convey the idea that patients’ safety is the main concern. They should constantly increase the effectiveness of their services to ensure top quality performance of their duties. According to the Institute of Medicine (2010), CNOs have to solve numerous problems, related to staffing, employment, and budget. However, the task of a CNO in terms of nurses is to motivate them to work better and more efficiently by means of offering professional promotion and financial reward. CNOs should deliver the idea to nurses that their success depends on the ability to prioritize tasks and promote effective performance they can share through the nursing boards.
Secondly, CNOs should direct nurses at a new format of modern healthcare, which requires cooperation with physicians and continuous education for obtaining new degrees. The Institute of Medicine (2010) has expressed an important idea that nurses should closely collaborate with physicians to promote teamwork and improve the process of clinical reasoning and decision-making. This partnership requires from nurses to obtain profound knowledge in all the aspects of physician’s profession and to be ready to share experience with them. Continuous education and training should become a necessary requirement for nurses, managed and scheduled by their CNOs.
Third, CNOs should implement the renovated models of nursing practice to achieve improved care. A transdisciplinary or interprofessional model of nursing practice has shown high efficiency in the healthcare setting. According to the Institute of Medicine (2010), CNOs can organize specific teams, which involve professionals from several units and distribute duties among them. CNOs can assign a range of tasks to a certain unit and change their obligations for the next working period. Working in such teams, nurses will gain inspiration for close cooperation with other healthcare professionals, besides physicians, namely pharmacists, technicians, and educators (Institute of Medicine, 2010). Such an approach will assist CNOs in creating effective teams of nurses and other healthcare specialists, who will be able to cope with a number of complicated problems due to versatile knowledge such teams possess.
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The next purpose CNOs should pursue is implementing electronic health records (EHR) system in the nursing unit. The issue of EHR is a separate aspect in the current healthcare reform in the United States. The notion of meaningful use was developed and applied to EHR to demonstrate that the patients’ data is implemented and used correctly and appropriately (Institute of Medicine, 2010). Following the recommendations, determined by the healthcare reform, and with the purpose to improve the level of the services, CNOs should ensure that nurses understand and correctly use EHR system. CNOs should explain nurses that this technological innovation assists nurses in performing their duties and improves patients’ healthcare outcomes.
A fifth recommendation CNOs should implement is to show nurses that their work is not limited to healthcare setting only, but it is a complex activity, which includes working with patients at home, at work, at schools, and in any other institution patients spend much time. Nurses should promote ongoing care, not limited by the patients visit to the hospital. A nursing process is not interrupted when a patient leaves the hospital. Nurses should consider a number of risks and possible barriers on the way to health implementation and they should care for patient education. Nurses should ensure that patients are aware of the necessity of immunization and vaccination, they should talk about risks at schools, about professional safety and appropriate living conditions. Such a complex approach to nursing care is not new, but CNOs should still remind nurses to work in this manner.
Lastly, CNOs should eliminate the growing number of preventable errors together with their subordinate workers. Unfortunately, in spite of the highest level of modern medicine development, there are still some negative treatment consequences and deaths, which could be avoided, if healthcare providers were more competent (Institute of Medicine, 2010). CNOs should determine some regulations for their nurses and make them collect the data on treatment of patients with certain states. This data should be summarized with the definition of the best and the least successful options. Having this information and supporting it by the professional experience and education, nurses, being guided by their CNOs, can prevent many errors.
To conclude, it is worth stating that CNOs can positively impact nursing practice and inspire staff nurses to work better. These administrators can act in multiple directions, namely promote continuous education for nurses, encourage them to work in interdisciplinary teams, incorporate EHR system, and show some methods to avoid errors in their practice. CNOs should motivate nurses to use their leadership potential, when they perform the roles of the representatives on the national nursing boards with the purpose to improve patient safety and effectiveness of nursing services. CNOs’ role for modern nursing profession is essential.
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