Organizational Leadership to Promote Quality Nursing Care for Older Adults

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Judith Hertz, PhD, RN, FNGNA
School of Nursing and Health Studies, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL
Susan Carlson, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC, GNP-BC
Neurology, Audie L. Murphy VA Memorial Hospital, San Antonio, TX
Pamala D. Larsen, PhD, RN, CRRN, FNGNA
School of Nursing, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY
Neva L. Crogan, PhD, GCNS-BC, GNP-BC, FNGNA
College of Nursing, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Barbara M. Raudonis, PhD, RN, FNGNA
School of Nursing, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX
Martha Anderson, DNP, APRN, BC, FNGNA
Senior Services, Carilion Center for Healthy Aging, Roanoke, VA
Janice D. Crist, RN, PhD
College of Nursing, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Nancy Kollman, MSN, MBA/HCM, RN-BC, FNGNA
Nursing Science Dept, St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN
Caryl A. Mayo, MS, RN
Department of Nursing, University of Cincinnati Raymond Walters College, Blue Ash, OH

Learning Objective 1: Describe how one professional organizationís strategic initiatives were operationalized to demonstrate leadership in promoting a competent nursing workforce to care for older adults.

Learning Objective 2: Relate implications for leadership in designing initiatives to promote a competent nursing workforce to care for a specific population in oneís own organization.

The older adult population is increasing worldwide and there is a nursing shortage. In the 2008 U.S. Institute of Medicine report, the authors specifically highlight the need for ensuring sufficient knowledgeable and competent health care providers to care for this burgeoning population and make recommendations for addressing this issue. One professional nursing organization’s purpose is to promote quality nursing care provided to older adults. The organization’s strategic initiatives, which have been in place for the past four years, provide an adaptable framework for designing activities to address these shortage issues.

The organization’s Board of Directors designed a multipronged approach that demonstrates leadership in promoting a sufficient, competent nursing workforce. The four major goals are focused upon: (a) promoting access to quality health care with positive outcomes; (b) securing a sufficient and competent workforce; (c) gaining recognition for members’ expertise along with being valued as key to quality care; and (d) possessing an organizational image as an expert resource. Specific initiatives or activities are designed to promote achievement of these goals and will be discussed. For example, evidence-based practice documents, educational programs, and encouraging certification improve competencies. Defining gerontological nursing, creating position statements, recruiting students, sponsoring a consumer session at annual meetings, and launching marketing initiatives facilitate access and the value of gerontological nurses. Members’ contributions are recognized through award programs, publications, and development of a speaker’s bureau. Finally, recognition as an expert source for information is achieved by organizational collaborations, contributions to the scope and standards of practice, and responsiveness to requests from others.

The organizational leadership used in designing these initiatives has implications for other health care systems, educational programs, and professional organizations interested in ensuring a sufficient and knowledgeable nursing workforce to care for other populations. These will be delineated.