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Analysis of a Nurse Manager Amanda Badgley NURS 440

2 ANALYSIS OF A NURSE MANAGER Analysis of a Nurse Manager Being a leader in nursing is challenging in many ways. As a nurse manger, the individual is expected to be a role model for all staff. I had the opportunity to interview a highly respected nurse manager at the facility where I am employed. Vickie Colbry is a registered nurse at Mid Michigan Medical Center-Gratiot. She has an associates degree in nursing and is working on obtaining her bachelors degree in nursing. Vickie has worked for Mid Michigan Medical Center-Gratiot for thirty-five years, and has held various positions as a nurse and in nursing administration. Vickie has many job duties that she fulfills on a daily basis while performing her job. She collaborates with other managers and co-workers to ensure that each patient receives high quality care from the staff she oversees. Vickie has a great deal of experience dealing with ethical and legal issues that have risen during her management experience. She described her problem solving and decision-making process with me and how she is able to manage seventy-five employees with ease. Vickies management experience has earned her a deep respect amongst the staff and her fellow administrators. Her leadership and management abilities are an excellent example of effective nursing management. Job Duties Main Duties Vickies main job duties include managing the medical/surgical unit, the medical/pediatric unit, and cardiac cath lab. Within these job roles she, facilitates the day to day operations on each unit, (Colbry, 2013). She manages any customer service issues that arise on each unit including patient complaints and staff complaints. Vickie handles all supervisory duties for the units, overseeing registered nurses, nursing aides,

3 ANALYSIS OF A NURSE MANAGER unit clerks and support staff. Vickie states that she also, overseas the budget for each of these units and handles financial concerns for each unit, including supplies consumed and incidental overtime accrued, (Colbry, 2013). Currently, Vickie manages seventy-five employees amongst all the units she is responsible for managing. According to the Michigan Civil service Commission nurse managers are generally responsible for , employees in this job direct the delivery of professional nursing services through practical nurses, resident care aides, corrections medical aides, childcare workers, or lower level supervisors on a ward or unit, (2006). She is responsible for monitoring patient care to ensure it meets Mid Michigan Healths standards, and audits patient records to analyze the effectiveness and efficiency of the care provided by the unit. Miscellaneous Duties Vickie has many other miscellaneous duties that she performs as well. While dealing with the nursing staff she acts a mediator between staff for conflicts. When there are any staff complaints or conflicts that arise, I have to act as the mediator between the staff members. I also can be present for meetings with risk management patients for legal reasons, (Colbry, 2013). Vickie is responsible for reporting any legal or ethical issues directly to her supervisor, the Director of Nursing. She states she is responsible for, disciplining employees who don't fulfill their job requirements or provide inadequate patient care, and evaluate employee job performance. Vickie has mentored less experienced nurses, offering clinical advice and direction. She sets specific goals and standards for the unit, and holds regular staff meetings in which she updates her staff on new policies or changes made to the nursing care that her employees will perform.

4 ANALYSIS OF A NURSE MANAGER Collaboration Other Departments Mangers must be able to collaborate well with other departments, managers, administration, and staff. Vickie collaborates with a variety of other departments than what she manages. On a daily basis she collaborates with, the lab, radiology, pharmacy, and housekeeping, (Colbry, 2013). By collaborating with other departments successfully, patients can receive a higher quality of care and have higher patient satisfaction. Being able to collaborate with other departments is important for the overall safety and satisfaction of the patients and for the satisfaction of the staff as well. Interdisciplinary collaboration and team building can help to keep patient well-being central in spite of economic pressures, (Lindeke, 2005). When all departments collaborate to operate more efficiently, staff satisfaction generally improves as well. Co-workers Strong nurse managers must be able to be a part of a team and work well with others. This includes being able to collaborate effectively with other managers and administration. Vickie stated, I feel that I work well with others and I am a team player. I collaborate daily with all the other nurse managers in the hospital when we all attend a routine meeting and discuss the census and any other problems going on related to patient care on our units. Some examples of her ability to collaborate with her co-workers includes leading the HUSH campaign, completing patient rounding, and the total joint center of excellence committee. Nurse mangers also must be able to work with their staff and provide a nonviolent work environment. Collaborating with other managers from other units and staff members is an important aspect of being a nurse manager.


Managing Legal or Ethical Issues The role of professional nursing continues to expand and incorporate increasingly higher levels of expertise, specialization, autonomy, and accountability from both a legal and ethical perspective, (Yoder-Wise, 2011). The ability to manage legal and ethical issues is a high priority for a nurse manager. Managers need to have heightened awareness of the legal and ethical issues that occur within their units to help protect them and their staff from unwanted potential liability issues. Vickie claimed to have had several interesting ethical issues occur on her nursing units in the past, but she did not currently have any legal or ethical issues that were active. She also stated, Most of our legal issues are forwarded to our risk management team and they take over from there. There are very few legal issues that our managers here have to deal with, (Colbry, 2013). Even though she didnt currently have any issues that were active, she did acknowledge that she was well aware of the many legal and ethical issues that could arise at any time. Use of Power and Influence Power can be defined as, the ability to influence others in an effort to achieve goals, (Yoder-Wise, 2011). Nurse managers carry a significant amount of power over their staff they manage. By setting a good example and keeping morale high on the unit, staff nurses are more willing to achieve the goals set forth by institution. According to the interview provided by Vickie, she describes her power and influence over her staff very important. I think that my power and influence has a direct affect on the nurses. If am

6 ANALYSIS OF A NURSE MANAGER positive about a situation, they have a tendency to follow my lead. This has a trickledown effect and does affect the patients we serve, (Colbry, 2013). Vickie believes that her influence on nursing staff helps to direct the work flow of the floor. She also thinks that there are other things that relate to the power and influence she may have over her staff. A manger should always treat their staff with the respect and courtesy that they would want to be treated with. A person/s body language can sometimes speak louder than words, (Colbry, 2013). A managers use of power and influence does a direct affect on patient care. Nurses routinely influence patients to improve their health statuswhen nurses provide health teaching to patients and their families, the goal is to change patient/family behaviorthat is an exercise of power in nursing practice, (Yoder-Wise, 2011). Decision-Making and Problem Solving Being able to critically think through problem solving and decision-making is essential for effective nursing management. I asked Vickie regarding her decisionmaking process and how she critically thinks though issues before making a final decision. I break the issue down step by step and look at all the facts. I always ask myself What is the goal? and finding out the who, what, when, where, and why, of each situation, (Colbry, 2013). According to Yoder-Wise, effective thinkers are self-aware individuals who strive to improve their reasoning abilities by asking why, what, or how. This affects patients and the organization through the final decisions that she makes which can have a positive or negative effect on patient care and patient satisfaction. Being able to critically think is an advanced level cognitive process which is extremely important for successful nurse management. There are many decision-making

7 ANALYSIS OF A NURSE MANAGER styles and numerous factors that have an effect on an individuals decision-making process. Problem solving consists of decision-making processes. A truly efficient manager is able to anticipate issues and is able to deal with them accordingly. Management and Resolution of Conflict Not all nurse managers have the same management style. Different management styles produce a variety of workplace environments. Vickie was asked to describe her management style. She stated, I feel like I can be direct when I need to be, yet I also ask for input from my staff so they feel like they have been included in the decision-making process. I, of course, have the final say in all decisions, (Colbry, 2013). From this interview I gathered that she most closely relates herself to a democratic style of management. Democratic nurse leaders include their subordinates in goal-setting and decision-making, soliciting their suggestions and feedbackhowever, the leader has the final say, (Williams, 2013). Vickie feels that her management style fosters excellent patient care, and makes her employees more satisfied with administration. When it comes to resolving conflicts, Vickie thinks of herself as a mediator for staff and patients. She states, I act as a mediator. I can be the neutral ground for conflicts so I can hear both sides of the story, and then work it out from there, (Colbry, 2013). Resolving conflicts is another important aspect of nursing administration that an effective manager must be able to deal with efficiently. Overall, a strong nurse manager leads by example, fostering a workplace where nurses respect each other and management, and feel valued. Vickie Colbry is a good example of a strong nurse manager. Through her years of experience, she has earned the trust and respect of all of her fellow co-workers and staff. She maintains well organized

8 ANALYSIS OF A NURSE MANAGER and efficient operating nursing units through her democratic style leadership. Strong nurse mangers must be able to collaborate with co-workers, handle legal and ethical issues, make tough decisions and problem solve, and resolve conflicts quickly.


Colbry, V. (2013, September 18). Interview by A Badgley. Nurse manger interview. Lindeke, L. (2005). Nurse-Physician Workplace Collaboration. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 10(1), Retrieved from Williams, E. (2013). Leadership styles in nursing management. Houston Chronicle. Retrieved from Leadership Styles in Nursing Management
Yoder-Wise, P. (2011). Leading and Managing in Nursing (5th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby