The Chief Nurse’s Guide to Building a Successful Practice

Aug 26, 2022 | 2022 Articles, Education

by staff

Higher management positions come with huge responsibilities. Many people think that the person on the top has an easy job. However, it is a different story. They have the most difficult job. They are accountable for everything. It is their task to take the organization to great heights. It isn’t easy to achieve goals and manage everything alongside. The case is similar for the chief nurse; they have the most tiring and critical job. They are accountable for every kind of mismanagement. Hence, the nature of the job is much more crucial than expected.

Importance of Chief Nursing Officer:

Hospitals require top-class services and patient outcomes. There can never be a compromise of any kind, or it can result in mistakes that can be fatal. So, the responsibility lies with the chief nursing officer. They are responsible for making things run smoothly in the hospital. It can be resource management to patient management. Both of these things are of huge importance in the hospital. Still, it is a rewarding job financially and career-wise.

There are multiple avenues to explore if anyone wants to know how to become a CNO. Different universities offer BSN & MSN programs and certifications like Certified in Executive Nursing Practice (CENP) and Certified Nurse Manager and Leader (CNML) to help nurses excel in their fields.

Here is a guide for chief nurses to build a successful practice

1. A smooth steam of coordination
The chief nurse is the commanding officer of the staff. They are assigned numerous duties. But, their main duty is to improve coordination. There should be a smooth stream of coordination. They also ensure an open and safe space for everyone. So the subordinates can easily talk and share their ideas. And good communication can help with many issues.

2. Improve the thinking process
When a person is in the position of chief nurse, they have to evaluate multiple issues critically. It also includes apt decisiveness. Thinking innovatively and providing new ideas can change the culture of the organization. Time can be saved with the aid of a competent problem solver. The leader needs to use unconventional thinking. The chief nurse needs to critically analyze every work related scenario that they encounter.

3. Think ahead
Farsightedness is also a very important attribute. It is built through experience and competence. So, the chief nurse should have a strong view of the future. Use your vast nursing experience to envision the right course of action. Moreover, it is hard to always be right about everything. So, try to make a contingency plan for every course of action. Always evaluate the situation before making any decisions.

4. Constantly improve yourself through education
After getting a bachelors and masters in nursing, there are many certifications that can prepare you for the position of chief nurse. These certifications provide strong educational grounds for the nurses to improve the career trajectory. There should always be a struggle for growth, even if the person is in the highest position. Education can help a person in every way possible. It can create numerous avenues that were hidden before.

5. Take initiative
Taking the initiative is a difficult task. It requires a person to be comfortable and knowledgeable about their position. Then they can take good initiatives that provide successful results. The initiative is something that can be preemptive or spontaneous. In both cases, one has to be wise and smart. Only a proactive person can take apt initiatives. The chief nurse has to take initiative to increase the productivity of their subordinates. It collectively improves the quality of the work.

6. Manage time optimally
Chief nurse is the one that has to define key performance indicators of the staff. Time management is the most important aspect that comes with the job role. The chief nurse evaluates the task and time in reference to productivity. They review the gaps and room for improvements. Then they optimize the shifts of the nurses. Their own tasks require accurate time management skills. They have to manage their work along with the other nursing staff.

7. Be an inspirational mentor
To build a successful practice as a chief nurse, you need to inspire people with your aura. It is important to become a reflective leader. The chief nurse has to impart knowledge and motivation as credible mentors. They offer special insights into circumstances that the mentees can’t draw on from their personal experience. A good mentor empowers and assists juniors in becoming their best self. Patience and a desire to teach or share information with others are qualities that make for good mentors.

8. Manage the decorum
The chief nurse is responsible for managing the decorum of the workplace. Decorum management is a tricky task that needs to be addressed properly. In the hospital, it is an important task for the chief nurse due to the nature of the work. A polite and stern attitude can go a long way. Saying something with a smile can change the whole demeanor. It is a good practice to be considered. The nursing staff is already in a constant pressure. To be a good chief nurse, try to manage the decorum by showing empathy.

9. Focus on people management
People management is another task that can be difficult for some people. It can be developed through observation. To become a successful chief nurse, try allocating tasks according to the strengths of the people. If you impose something on them, it will cause trouble. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. It improves efficiency and performance of every individual.

10. Protect the subordinates
The chief nurse is a leader for their staff, and they have to protect them from external pressure. They are the strong representatives of other nurses. The chief nurse assures them that their rights are protected. They do not let anyone blame them. They are the true defenders of their subordinates. But, they must trust them enough to defend them even if it is their fault. So, it is important to stand their ground to create a good reputation among their subordinates.

The chief nurse has to cover all the aspects to build a successful practice, and they have to make multiple sacrifices to help others. They have to put the work ahead of themselves. Good management can make everything look easy. It can only be done if the person is competent. Skills can be learned with time and determination. So, focus on yourself as a person before playing the part of the chief nurse. It is a leadership position, and there are numerous leadership styles. Try to find the best style that fits the current scenario and apply it honestly. It will lead you to great heights of success. These steps can help you build a significant career as a chief nurse.

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