Strategic Plan: A Tool in Nursing Leadership

Saturday, 21 July 2018

Maria Theresa P. Panizales, DNP, RN
Vitals Global Healthcare Management, Ltd., Floriana, Malta

Creating a nursing team is a challenge a leader must tackle in a new workplace. Knowing the key players and the culture that permeate the various units are essential ingredients in weaving across the organizations existing fiber of culture, workflow and structure. In a public and private partnership the team is responsible in every deliverables as contractually defined. Deliverables must be clear, tracked and met.

Essentially in healthcare, the fulcrum of care delivery is the patient. The roles of each staff member from the corporate management to the interdisciplinary healthcare team, and allied health workers are centered to meet the needs of the patient efficiently and effectively in the context of quality and safety, and that fiduciary responsibility are met.

The key to engagement is finding the strategy to adapt so the effort will be one of collaborative, outcome centered and need based. The following concepts were adapted to guide and identify the phases of engagement: Phase 1 is “discovering through immersion”, Phase 2 “building communication linkages”, Phase 3 aim to “meet where the leaders are”, and Phase 4 is “meaningful planning and implementation”.

Discovering through immersion is leadership transparency and engagement within the unit, a methodology to break barriers and gain insightful learning from staff. To build on communication linkage, meetings were held to bring the nursing leaders together and allowing each to express personal and organizational goals and concerns. Another layer in communication linkage is with stakeholders, include corporate to the community.

Listening opens the door to knowing everyone, and their concerns – allowing the similarity of challenges to align the leaders and recognize the support one can gain from the other. The exercise led to the development of the strategic plan (SP).

To date, the SP serves as a living document that evolves and facilitates measurement of Nursing Service deliverables. A quarterly evaluation is utilized to measure outcomes and identify barriers that the team can work on. SP provided the much needed structure, focus and earmarks of growth.