Application of the Failures of Group Decision Making to the Nursing Profession

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Kathleen Bartholomew, RN, MN
Swedish Medical Center, Seattle, WA

Learning Objective 1: list four reasons why any group fails at decision making

Learning Objective 2: explain how applying the framework of group decision failures to Nursing can help nursing leaders objectively our profession's challenges

The most difficult culture to see is the one you live and work in every day.  Simply being a member of the sub-culture called Nursing prevents us from accurately perceiving both the short term and long term challenges our profession faces because we are so immersed in the culture.    From the field of Knowledge Utilization we know that “the generals need the concepts”. However, the majority of today’s Nursing leaders report that they are in survival mode- constantly bombarded with information and strategic decision because the very nature of their work is not supported by the greater culture. Nursing could benefit greatly by shifting perspectives and looking at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to our own profession through the eyes of a sociologist.  This presentation will provide an informative and fresh perspective that attendees can take back and apply to their own specific environment.

In his book, “Collapse”, Pulitzer Prize winning author Jared Diamond shares with his reader’s that the reason many civilizations are extinct is because of their failure at group decision making.  Applying this framework to Nursing is extremely illuminating and ultimately compels us to unite on every level to address the issues that Nursing fails to perceive, anticipate or solve in order to protect and nourish this incredible profession.