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Running head: ANALYZING A NURSE IN A MANAGER ROLE

Analyzing a Nurse in a Manger Role


Ken McIntyre
Ferris State University

Analyzing a Nurse in a Manager Role

Analyzing a Nurse in a Manger Role


The purpose of this paper is to gain a holistic perspective of the leadership role and their
impact on patient outcomes (Sinutko, 2016). The role of a nurse in a management position can
extend beyond the confines of the hospital. There are plenty of opportunities to put your
nursing skills to good use outside the hospital walls (Brooks, 2015). Nursing information
technology (IT), research analyst, healthcare educator, and the insurance industry are just a few
of the opportunities for nurses to make a positive impact on the health and well-being of the
population. To create this positive healthcare environment, nurse leaders must work within a
collaborative and interprofessional environment to influence the health of populations and
reducing the per capita cost of health care (The American Organization of Nurse Executives,
2015, p. 1). The current need for these nurse leaders has never been so profound in our nations
history.
Rachel L. Waldron
Rachel Waldron is a case manager supervisor at McLaren Health Plan. Mrs. Waldron has
a Masters degree in health care administration from Grand Canyon University, with an emphasis
in leadership. She began her career in healthcare during high school when she took two years of
vocational classes called Health Occupations 1 & 2. In her senior year she was awarded the most
valuable vocational student. After high school, in 2002, Mrs. Waldron obtained her certified
nurses aide (CNA) license. Mrs. Waldron continued her career in healthcare by taking classes
at Montcalm Community College (MCC) to become a licensed practical nurse (LPN) in 2006,
and then earned her Associates Degree in Nursing (ADN) from MCC. She became a registered
nurse (RN) in 2008. However, Mrs. Waldron knew it was necessary to advance her education
beyond her associates degree to further her career.

Analyzing a Nurse in a Manager Role

Graduating with honors, Mrs. Waldron earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
in 2014, and her Masters in Health Care Administration from Grand Canyon University in 2016.
She has had many roles in nursing, including positions at the Laurels Corporation, Sparrow
Health System, and working as a contractual nurse through Maxim Healthcare Services at the
Carson City Correctional Facility, a state prison for men. Throughout her career, Mrs. Waldron
has written and implemented numerous policies and procedures, completed various volunteer
community service projects, and has sat on various boards and committees. She has been the cochair of the Unit Based Council, Chair of the Education Council, was on the board of the
Catheter Acquired Urinary Tract Infection Initiative, and has help to test the latest software
programs, such as new electronic medical records (EMRs).
Role Responsibilities
Case management supervisors must fill many roles within the organization. Mrs.
Waldron provides daily oversight and coordination for her 33-person case management team,
which includes, a wide variety of responsibilities, including payroll, managing vacation times,
personal leave, and sick time. She also assists other staff with assignments, attends meetings,
and assists upper management as needed (R. Waldron, personal communication, June 24,
2016). Case management supervisors are also required to provide guidance and direction to
ensure no Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) laws are violated, as
well as McLaren Health Plan rules and guidelines are followed.
Staffing and budgeting are resources that must be managed by the case management
supervisor. Mrs. Waldron also collaborates with other disciplines to ensure a coherent, seamless
integration of their work not only meets the healthcare needs of the patient, but benefits the
organization as well.

Analyzing a Nurse in a Manager Role

McLaren Health Plan is a functional structure. Functional structures configure


departments and services according to specialty. This approach to organizational structure is
common in healthcare organizations (Yoder-Wise, 2015, Kindle locations 6589-6590).
Executive staffing includes Mr. Philip A. Incarnati, who is the Chief Executive Officer, President
and Director, Mr. David Mazurkiewicz, who is the Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice
President, Mr. Mark S. O'Halla, who is the Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice
President, Mr. Don Kooy, who is the Chief Executive Officer of McLaren Flint and President of
Mclaren Flint, and Ms. Kathy Kendall, who is the Chief Executive Officer of McLaren Health
Plan and President of McLaren Health Plan (Capital IQ, 2016).
Relationship Building and Communication
Building relationships and promoting communication in the workplace is important to
Mrs. Waldron. She explains, I am the person that interacts with all the staff that reports to me. I
am available to them for questions, comments, concerns, computer issues, member case
discussion (R. Waldron, personal communication, June 24, 2016). Mrs. Waldron believes that
it is important to be able to identify any issues and create plans of action, policies and procedures
for the 33 staff members that report to her. These staff consist of registered nurses, licensed
practical nurses, and medical assistants, and their positions include case managers, intake
specialist, clerks, and utilization review nurses.
Clear, effective communication is vital to building relationships, promoting trust, and
ensuring productivity in a team-driven organization. And as Mrs. Waldron understands, health
communication is a multidimensional process and includes aspects from both the sender and the
receiver of the message. (Arnold & Boggs, 2011, p. 103). The open communication style
advocated by Mrs. Waldron incorporates these aspects to create an environment that promotes

Analyzing a Nurse in a Manager Role

effective teamwork by building relationships between supervisors, peers, subordinates, and the
customer. Mrs. Waldron feels that, As a leader you need to be personable, communicate, listen,
open, honest, have integrity, adaptable, encouraging, and have follow through. This builds
relationships on common core values, ethics, and beliefs (R. Waldron, personal communication,
June 25, 2016).
Leadership
To exercise leadership, nurses need not only to be knowledgeable of the importance of
individual-level health promotion, but also to demonstrate their political knowledge to help
change the socioeconomic and physical environments (Pender, Murdaugh, & Parsons, 2015, p.
5). The development and use of a nurses political knowledge is crucial to providing the best
care possible to the client within the confines of todays rules, regulations, and laws, in addition
to using that knowledge to help educate legislators and policy-makers to make informed
decisions that result in more equitable laws and guidelines.
According to Kort, the standard definition of leadership assumes that leadership is a
relation between leaders and followers. But we must determine what leadership is
independently (2008, p. 425). In the nursing profession, this distinction between leaders and
followers is blurred, and justifiably so. At McLaren Health Plan, All staff have to have
leadership traits to be able to lead by example, encourage others, and be able to create an
atmosphere of team work (R. Waldron, personal communication, June 24, 2016). The
teamwork Mrs. Waldron speaks of would not be possible without each person on the team taking
a leadership role within the scope of their duties.
As far as her own personal leadership style, Mrs. Waldron says, My leadership style is
situational leadership. I am able to adapt to the situation to be effective, but want to serve others

Analyzing a Nurse in a Manager Role

by putting their needs first and helping them strive to be the best and meet goals personal and
professional. Each situation is unique and needs to be handled in such (R. Waldron, personal
communication, July 25, 2016).
Professionalism
Professionalism can be defined as a level of competence or skill exhibited by an
individual, however, the nurse in a manager, or leadership role, must also remain vigilant about
the ever-changing environment in which they work, and adapt accordingly. The professional
nurse must also be a mentor to those they supervise, and the nurse manager or supervisor must
set examples of professionalism, which include academic preparation, roles and function, and
increasing autonomy (Yoder-Wise, 2015, Kindle locations 3409-3410). In the quickly changing
healthcare setting, it is vital to keep current on laws, rules, regulations, and the social context in
which healthcare services are delivered.
Continuing education, in either an academic setting, or through a vocational setting,
helps set the professional apart from the layperson. Mrs. Waldron exemplifies this concept by
obtaining her certification in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), completing the Oncology
Nursing Society (ONS) course to safely administer chemotherapy and biotherapy agents to
patients with cancer, and completing a course from the Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI) to
provide nonviolent crisis interventions. She has also completed training sessions in conscious
sedation, reading electrocardiograms (EKGs) and telemetry, running EKGs, and various other
job training sessions.
Business Skills
Business skills are integral to any managers job, regardless of the industry, trade, or
profession. For nurse managers to be successful in todays healthcare environment, its not

Analyzing a Nurse in a Manager Role

enough to have clinical expertise they must also develop essential business skills, like strategic
planning, budget development, operations management, and organizational structure and
policies (American Sentinel University, 2014). Policy and procedure writing is also essential
and inherent to any business. Mrs. Waldron pointed out that she has written and implemented
policies and procedures (R. Waldron, personal communication, July 24, 2016). Policies and
procedures help guide the organization towards its goals, reinforce the organizations mission,
and safeguard the organization from litigation and public relation issues by communicating clear
and concise directions when the appropriate action or response is ambiguous.
Conclusion
Todays healthcare environment is diverse and extremely complex. Nurse managers not
only need to have clinical skills, but knowledge of laws, business economics, social mores, and
political issues. It is particularly important for a nurse manger to be able to perform their job
with a high level of autonomy in order to be effective. To maximize the clinical effectiveness
of registered nurses (RNs), they must have autonomy consistent with their scope of practice.
Multiple studies demonstrate that a healthcare organization that provides a climate in which
nurses have authority and autonomy has better patient outcomes (Yoder-Wise, 2015, Kindle
locations 14872-14875). As I reflect on this interview, it is now obvious to me that the nurse
manager who can successfully incorporate these traits into their management style are strong
leaders that will ultimately benefit the patient, and the organization alike.

Analyzing a Nurse in a Manager Role

8
References

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