The nursing profession plays an integral role in facilitating national development. Nurses work in unison with other healthcare practitioners to provide quality, reliable, and affordable medical care services to patients. As a result of the increased demand for medical care services coupled with emerging challenges associated with implementation of healthcare reforms, it is evident that the nursing profession is bound to change, advance, and transform to address these challenges, and needs of patients. In essence, change is inevitable in the nursing profession as nurses are required to pioneer and spearhead reforms in healthcare and formulate and implement policies aimed to articulate and address the needs of patients, families and populations in the society.
In the last few years, the nursing profession has realized and recorded tremendous growth and transformation in terms of service delivery. This aspect is attributed to the advocacy and implementation of healthcare reforms, embracement of technology, improving nurses’ welfare, creating favorable working environment, advocating for the cultural-based system, and enhancing nursing education and training (Shirey, 2011). Despite this significant growth, nurses need to adopt advanced and alternative measures to address the emerging challenges in healthcare sector. The idea to resolve emerging challenges in healthcare has existed for many years, and has changed the manner in which nurses respond to such issues, relate with their patients, and integrate advanced and effective nursing practice. This trend will continue to influence the nursing profession for many years ahead.
The nursing practice is expected to change significantly in the next ten years. This change would be evident in different segments of the nursing profession, and in other facets of healthcare system. Currently, nurse practice is premised on three key themes; nursing education, and training, healthcare reforms, and supporting nurses in education (Grossman & Valiga, 2013). Although these themes are important in the nursing profession, there is a need for the government and other stakeholders to champion for effective implementation and integration of these themes in nursing practice. In the next ten years, advanced nurse practice should train nurses to step out as “primary care givers” and encourage them to perform independent practice. This move would create a favorable environment where nurses would compete fairly, deliver quality services, and encourage team work and cooperation. Under the current healthcare reforms, the government should sponsor and improve nurses’ education and training, especially in research-based areas. Following the increased demand for healthcare, there is a need to equip nurse with skills and knowledge to gather, analyzes, and interprets empirical data, so that to curb and diagnose new types of illnesses, but there are few nurses specialized in this docket.
Research findings would help nurses to adopt models, theoretical approaches, and principles, which would incorporate the concept of cultural competency in the nursing profession; an idea that would create cordial relationship between nurses, patients, families, and the community (Adams, 2013). Based on this assertion, there are projections that there would be significant changes in various facets of the nursing practice in the next five to ten years.
Leadership competencies in nursing
Leadership is an indispensable variable in nursing practice as it equips nurses with technical skills, and knowledge to execute their roles, and responsibility effectively, and professionally (Roberts, 2011). Nurses need leadership qualities to redesign working relationship, spearhead health reforms, and collaborate with other healthcare practitioners in improving service delivery and efficiency in the healthcare system (Marshall, 2011). According to the National Organization of Nurses Practitioners Faculties (NONPF 2008), leadership competences are premised on improved-nurse education and training, and are the essential component in independent nursing practice. Leadership competences, analytical skills, and communication skills are built on the previous knowledge, and experiences, which a nurse has acquired in the nursing profession (NONPF 2008).
Nursing profession has more than three million nurses who are mandated with the responsibility of offering quality medical care services, championing healthcare reforms, and ensuring the healthcare goals and objectives are attained (Institute of medicine, 2011). However, nurses cannot attain this goal because they are confronted with numerous challenges, which prevent them from responding effectively to healthcare issues. However, integration of effective leadership styles and strategies would help nurses execute their responsibility effectively.
As a qualified and competent nurse, I employ transformational leadership style that is premised on the following leadership competences:
First, the leadership competence to provide leadership that will foster collaboration with multiple stakeholders (e.g. patients, community, integrated health care teams, and policy makers) and improve the health care. The success of the nursing profession and practice does not only depend on the intellectual abilities and analytical skills of the nurses, but on the integration of other competences possessed by other stakeholders in the healthcare system. In this case, it is important for nurses to employ effective leadership strategy that would promote cooperation among the stakeholders.
Action Plan: To attain this goal, I would organize seminars, forums, and educational campaigns to sensitize the other parties the importance of working in unison and embracing transformational leadership style. I would encourage parties to perform their tasks as teams in order to inculcate teamwork, cooperation and leadership qualities in young, talented healthcare professionals. Formulate policies and regulations, which encourage partnership between the government and the key stakeholders, in the healthcare system.
Second, the leadership competence that aims to advance the practice through the development and implementation of innovations, which incorporate the principles of change. As a result of increased demand for healthcare coupled with emerging challenges in healthcare industry, there is a need for nurses to initiate changes, which would transform the industry. Change agents are important in the spearheading development and implementation of innovations.
Action Plan: As a nurse practitioner, I would create a favorable leadership platform that would foster for integration of technology in healthcare. I would train change agents and ensure that transformational leadership is intertwined with the process of implementing innovations in healthcare.
Third, enhance the leadership competence to communicate effectively-oral and written. As a leader, the ability to communicate and convey coded or written information is an integral aspect in leadership (Adams, 2013).
Action plan: As a nurse leader, I would attend seminars and forums, which would equip me with skills and knowledge to communicate effectively. I would improve my writing skills by reading numerous books, magazines, and articles on leadership. As a leader, I would use public speaking forums to enhance oral skills in communication.
Adams, J.M (2013). Influencing the future of nursing: An interview with Sue Hassmiller. The Journal of Nursing Administration, 10(40), 394-396..
Grossman, S.C, & Valiga, T.M (2013). The new leadership challenge: Creating the future of nursing. Philadelphia: FA Davis.
Marshall, E. S. (2011). Transformational leadership in nursing: from expert clinician to influential leader. New York, NY: Springer.
NONPF. (2008). The Nurse practitioner core competences. The Nurse practitioner core competences. Retrieved February 5, 2014, from http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.nonpf.org/resource/resmgr/competencies/npcorecompetenciesfinal2012.pdf
Roberts, N. R. (2011). The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. Washington, DC:: The National Academies Press.
Shirey, M.R (2011). “Establishing a sense of urgency for leading transformational change”. The Journal of Nursing Administration, 41(4), 145-148.