Global Leadership Development: Succession Planning for Nurses

Sunday, 29 October 2017: 3:05 PM

Sharon Weinstein, MS, BSN, RN, CRNI-R, FACW, FAAN, CSP
Administration and Education, Global Education Development Institute, Rockville, MD, USA
Marianne Hess, MSN, BSN, RN, CCRN-K
George Washington University Hospital, Washington, DC, USA

A growing body of evidence shows that healthy work environments yield financial benefits to organizations with reductions in absenteeism, lost productivity, organizational healthcare costs, and costs arising from adverse outcomes. The speaker posits that a healthy work environment also fosters engagement and succession planning locally and globally. Achieving healthy work environments requires transformational change, with interventions that target underlying workplace and organizational factors. The trend toward healing environments within the workplace is aimed at overall well-being and promotes a sustainable culture and workforce. Sustainability in the face of decreasing numbers of providers and a disengaged staff may sound impossible. However, by reconnecting staff to their passion, to what brought them to their profession and what should bring them to work every day, they begin a process that results in an engaged environment. This is succession planning for nursing's future. Corporate culture is the key; today’s leaders must identify ways in which to create a collaborative culture. The ability to drive both innovation and risk-taking in the midst of uncertainty is a challenge. Success is within reach if leadership will 1) take responsibility for engaging the senior team; cultural change begins at the top; 2) be visible within the organization and listen to staff, and 3) model collaboration and engagement behaviors. The environment is critical, and that environment must support a change in culture. In such organizations, employees are treated as well as those they serve. Staff members approach work with a more positive attitude and adapt to change. They work collaboratively and have high levels of accountability and autonomy; they engage and are transparent. And, senior leaders value and support engagement and its impact on the organization as a whole. By living engagement each and every day, staff thinks differently, they act differently, and the workforce thrives. By seeking behavioral competencies in new staff, in addition to clinical skills, the institution employs a staff with communication and listening skills, emotional intelligence, a team spirit, positive attitude, adaptability, humility, compassion, creativity, and a patient and family-centered approach to caring. This newly engaged staff is energized, committed and positioned for growth. While tools like Magnet designation and the Beacon award promote healthy and healthful workplaces, action on the part of leadership is what will drive nurses and nursing’s future around the country and across the globe.