• Identifying Competencies for Nursing Leadership

      DeRuggiero, Kathy (2014)
      Problem: Without aggressive intervention, the number of nurses in the U.S. workforce will plateau in 2015 and by 2025 the shortage could be nearly 500,000 with a 40 percent nurse vacancy rate nationally. One strategy for combating the high nurse leader and staff nurse turnover is to assure that the nurse leaders have the competencies required to supervise, mentor, coach and develop the staff nurses they lead thereby increasing high-performing staff nurse recruitment and their retention. The problem is there currently is not a relevant model to identify specific competencies for nursing leaders in the organization where this project was undertaken; Purpose: The purpose of this evidence-based practice project was to answer the following question: How do nurse leader's competencies, as perceived by the staff, compare to leadership competencies, perceived by the nurse leaders?; Design: This project used a user experience design, employing a card sort technique comparing the perceptions of the competencies identified by the registered nurse team leaders with the perception of the competencies identified by the team members they lead; Methods: The card sort technique is an activity in which 67 cards, with a single competency written on each card, are used to select competencies. Eight subject matter experts (SMEs) were asked to organize the 67 competencies by grouping them into three categories; essential, nice to have or not important. Those competencies that fifty percent or more of the SMEs identified as essential were included in the project. All 183 nursing staff members of the adult emergency department, defined as either team leaders or team members, received an on-line survey. The survey requested the participants to select 10 competencies they perceived as being necessary for effective RN team leaders from the essential competencies identified by the SMEs.; Results: A similar relationship was found in the perceived importance of competencies between the two groups (team leaders and team members) on all but two competencies; listening and functional/technical skills. For the purposes of this project, the competencies chosen by 50 percent of either the team leaders or team members were included in composing the final construct of the nursing leadership competencies; integrity and trust; listening; approachability; motivating others; conflict management; confronting direct reports; and fairness to direct reports.; Implications: Through the identification of nursing leadership competencies, instead of leadership being an intangible accomplishment it can instead be disaggregated, measured and programmed. Nursing leadership competency identification can be used to manage the leadership development process which links training inputs to desired skills, knowledge, attributes and attitudes at various levels of any organization.