Whether you visit clinics, hospitals, or rehab facilities, you will find that nurses make up the largest group of healthcare professionals. Throughout the country and the whole world, the largest sector of healthcare providers is made up of nurses. Regardless of their overwhelming presence, not many of these nurses are included in important policy discussions that could shape the future of patient care.
A two-year study analyzing nurses’ roles in re-shaping the current healthcare system was conducted by the Institute of Medicine and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Among the findings from the study was a 600-page document, providing a closer look at nurses’ education. Additionally, the report offered suggestions for assigning leadership roles in enhancing the healthcare system.
Currently, new nursing graduates are being encouraged by their educators and nursing associations to serve as competent leaders in the healthcare industry. Aside from empowering nurses, these efforts aim to increase nurses’ leadership roles, all while promoting change within the industry.
Cathy L. Rozmus, associate dean for academic affairs and assistant vice president for Institutional Assessment and Enhancement at UTHealth School of Nursing, views education as a crucial component to nursing leadership. At the very least, Rozmus said that nurses should have a bachelor of science in nursing in order to prepare for a leadership role. However, she also said that many larger healthcare facilities call for a master’s degree, either in a nursing specialty or nursing administration.
Rozmus offered plenty of advice for new nursing graduates pursuing a leadership role in the healthcare industry. She said that the most effective way to prepare for a leadership position is to offer volunteer services for various committees. Furthermore, she believes that by working in interprofessional groups, nurses will gain invaluable experience that will help prepare them for a leadership role.