A Research-Based, Validated Professional Framework for First-Line Hospital Nurse Managers

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Janetta DeOnna, PhD, RN, MEd, BA
Healthcare Workforce Initiatives, Penn State University, University Park, PA

Learning Objective 1: apply a research-based, validated competency framework (NMCI) to Identify gaps in nurse manager performance.

Learning Objective 2: design enrichment plans that support the learning and performance development needs of nursing management personnel.

An effective supervisor is rated as one of the five top organizational factors positively impacting nurse satisfaction, turnover, and retention. Yet one of the major challenges is the persistent trend in healthcare to place good clinical staff nurses into leadership roles with no preparation or management training, even though nurse managers rate charge duties and direct patient care as contributing least to their success as managers. The scope, substance, and combination of management competencies of staff nurses differ dramatically from the management competencies expected of first-line nurse managers. Arguably, the transition from clinician to manager requires a competency framework so that the manager position can evolve as a formal role within the healthcare system and serve as a career path that will contribute to overall retention of clinical nurses. The author will present the Nurse Manager Competency Inventory© (NMCI)-- a 93-item, comprehensive, research-based, validated assessment tool developed specifically to assess hospital first-line nurse managers. Dr. DeOnna used a blended approach to competency modeling--based on the actual job requirements and characteristics of best-in-class hospital managers--to design and validate the NMCI. The multiple applications of the NMCI will be discussed.