Participants' Perspectives of an “Insightful and Inspirational” Nurse Manager Succession Planning Program

Sunday, 17 November 2013: 11:20 AM

Jennifer Titzer, MSN, RN, RT(R), RCIS
Undergraduate and Graduate Nursing Program, University of Southern Indiana, Evansville, IN
Maria R. Shirey, PhD, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE, FAAN
College of Nursing and Health Professions, University of Southern Indiana, Evansville, IN
Sheila Hauck, DNP, RN, OCN, NEA-BC
St. Mary's Medical Center, Evansville, IN

Learning Objective 1: Describe an effective model for identifying and developing high potential leaders for a nurse manager pipeline.

Learning Objective 2: Discuss the outcomes associated with a transformational nurse manager succession planning program.

Purpose A shortage of competent nurse managers threatens effective nurse leadership critical to ensuring healthy work environments, quality patient outcomes, and sound fiscal healthcare organizations.  The nurse manager shortage exists partly due to a lack of strategic workforce planning and development of a leadership pipeline.  Healthcare has failed to strategically plan for future leadership and deliberate action is critical.  Outcomes from healthcare succession planning program models are limited and require further evaluation.

Methods A formal nurse manager succession planning program was developed and implemented.  Program recruitment was open to all nurses working in an acute care hospital not currently holding but aspiring to formal nursing leadership positions.  Nurses interested completed an application and were selected using an objective evaluation process.  Ten nurse participants completed the 12 month program including monthly workshops, online management modules, and experiential learning activities.

Results Ninety percent of the participants reported the program met or exceeded their expectations.  Monthly, mid-program, and summative evaluations confirmed participants found the program beneficial and transformational validating the program provided invaluable knowledge and experience related to the nurse manager role.   Participants’ comments revealed five common themes including insight and inspiration, resource and network building, experiential (real life) learning, relationship building, and improved competency.

Conclusions Succession planning provides a beneficial and strategic method for identifying and developing high potential individuals, which contributes toward creating a future leadership pipeline.  Succession planning implies a vested interest in human capital development, improves leadership continuity, and supports organizational success.  The described program provides a replicable model with outcomes supporting succession planning provides valuable experiences for nurses seeking future leadership roles.