Effective nursing is not as it is often portrayed in the media. It is not about one single star coming to the rescue while the rest of the staff stand in awe of the nurse’s incredible ability. In real life situations, effective nursing entails a spirit of collaboration, and it is incumbent upon the leaders in the group to foster a culture of teamwork and to promote a positive work environment.
How does one go about establishing positive cooperation and joint effort within the backdrop of professional nursing? To achieve success along these lines, both the organization and the individual have roles to play in fostering a fully functioning collaborative spirit among all participants.
- The role of the organization
For the past several decades, technology has fueled a drive toward greater productivity in healthcare services like never before. In the process, leading healthcare organizations have learned to adapt. One critical element has become continuing education and training in not only the modern tools of the day, but also emphasizing interpersonal communication skills. Studies consistently demonstrate that collaboration is key in both clinical and non-clinical situations.
Processes are designed to ensure accountability and to address any incidences where cooperation might have been lacking. In today’s better hospitals, nurses are always involved in these feedback mechanisms and dispute resolution so that processes and operational structures respond to the input of all participants. Providing support and necessary coaching are hallmarks for achieving a more collaborative atmosphere among the entire staff.
- The role of individuals
First and foremost, the nurse must embody a collaborative mindset in which positive teamwork is the core deliverable. Senior nurses, as well as their physician counterparts in leadership positions, must perform as equal participants when demonstrating collaborative examples for the staff to emulate. A model framework would embrace integrity, accountability, and a willingness to listen to and respect comments from every member of the team.
Active and positive communication is key to sustaining an environment of collaboration. When walking the halls of a healthcare facility, it is common to find group discussions taking place to review schedules, provide critiques for when the system breaks down and review options to achieve better outcomes. Every member of the team has a contribution to make, whether it comes from performing their inherent skills or setting goals and resolving problems.The good news for individuals is that there is an online course that is designed to instill such nursing leadership skills in those aspiring to become a Doctor of Nursing Practice within the context of an Executive Nurse Leadership program (DNP-ENL). The program, by Baylor University, is completely online and can be taken at one’s own pace. Nursing students will learn the skills necessary to perform at an executive level, including how to be an effective leader and how to excel in today’s data-driven healthcare system of treatment.
- Studies emphasize that teamwork is essential in healthcare
Collaboration is not a new topic in the delivery of effective healthcare. In fact, the healthcare arena has often offered the best forum for determining what works and what does not when trying to achieve sustainable teamwork attitudes. Commitment to a teamwork model mindset is the key ingredient for success, since it can enable opportunities for quality improvement and the introduction of new ideas.
There are natural barriers, however, thatmust be overcome — primarily basic human nature. When shared communication and respect is absent, disconnects can occur. Divisive behavior and a lack of trust can be the result. The recommendation is to suspend judgment, thereby creating room for discussion, and openly asking questions that will help remove any negative inclinations or misunderstandings.
When it is accepted that everyone is trying his or her best, there is a willingness to interact in a healthy fashion. When individuals feel comfortable and empowered, the ensuing safety net encourages open participation. Each person has their own role and an understanding of the roles of others in the group as they interact.
- What are the demand prospects for nurses and salaries for a DNP?
According to surveys conducted by the American Nursing Association, market demand for nurses, especially after the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, will outstrip supply by as much as 7% over the next few years leading up to 2030. In more specialized roles such as anesthesiology or midwifery, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) foresees growth approaching 12% through 2031. There are very few professions that can match these forecasts.
Increasing demand will naturally ensure that compensation data will also follow suit. The impact of technology and specialization are already driving nursing salaries to higher levels. Nurses’ experience, seniority and where theywork and live, however, will always influence detailed compensation data.
Due to shortages at the provider level, states are increasingly granting more authority to nurses with higher degrees of education. More importantly, a DNP will also have greater potential to move into management positions with more responsibilitywithin the healthcare facility, or into other career paths where background experience is a decided advantage. Many of these non-clinical roles will not be involved directly with patient care.
The timing has never been better to invest in nursing skills for the exciting road ahead. Teamwork and a spirit of cooperation and equality are imperatives in this field. Whether oneremains in direct client care or pursues a non-clinical administrative position, today’s healthcare environment values a commitment to a collaborative mindset as essential for any leadership role.
Whether one is considering nursing as a career or is a nurse who wishes to advance in his or her field, there are online courses that can lead to a Doctor of Nursing Practice — Executive Nurse Leadership program (DNP-ENL). The demand for competent nurses with advanced education is expected to rise substantially over the next seven years or more, and salaries for these services will also follow in kind.