Below is a Review the Institute of Medicine’s Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health report. You may also download the IOM Future of Nursing report for free from the internet.
Will Chief Nursing Officers Hear the Call?
Although chief nursing officers (CNOs) typically are part of the hierarchical decision-making structure in that they have authority and responsibility for the nursing staff, they need to move up in the reporting structure of their organizations to increase their ability to contribute to key decisions. Not only is this not happening, however, but CNOs appear to be losing ground. A 2002 survey by the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) showed that 55 percent of CNOs reported directly to their institution’s CEO, compared with 60 percent in 2000. More CNOs described a direct reporting relationship to the chief operating officer instead. Such changes in reporting structure can limit nurse leaders’ involvement in decision making about the most important product of hospitals—patient care. Additionally, the AONE survey showed that most CNOs (70 percent) have seen their responsibilities increase even as they have moved down in the reporting structure (Ballein Search Partners and AONE, 2003). CNOs face growing issues of contending not only with increased responsibilities, but also with budget pressures and difficulties with staffing, retention, and turnover levels during a nursing shortage (Jones et al., 2008).
Nurses also are underrepresented on institution and hospital boards, either their own or others. A biennial survey of hospitals and health systems conducted in 2007 by the Governance Institute found that only 0.8 percent of voting board members were CNOs, compared with 5.1 percent who were vice presidents for medical affairs (Governance Institute, 2007). More recently, a 2009 survey of community health systems found that nurses made up only 2.3 percent of their boards, compared with 22.6 percent who were physicians (Prybil et al., 2009).3 While most boards focus mainly on finance and business, health care delivery, quality, and responsiveness to the public—areas in which the nature of their work gives nurses particular expertise—also are considered key (Center for Healthcare Governance, 2007). A 2007 survey found that 62 percent of boards included a quality committee (Governance Institute, 2007). A 2006 survey of hospital presidents and CEOs showed the impact of such committees. Those institutions with a quality committee were more likely to adopt various oversight practices; they also experienced lower mortality rates for six common medical conditions measured by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) Inpatient Quality Indicators and the State Inpatient Databases (Jiang et al., 2008).
The growing attention of hospital boards to quality and safety issues reflects the increased visibility of these issues in recent years. Several states and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, for example, are increasing their oversight of specific preventable errors (“never events”), and new payment structures in health care reform may be based on patient outcomes and satisfaction (Hassmiller, 2009; IOM, 2000; King, 2009; Wachter, 2009). Given their expertise in quality and safety improvement, nurses are more likely than many other board members to understand the issues involved and often can educate other members about these issues (Mastal et al., 2007). This is one area, then, in which nurse board members can have a significant impact. Recognizing this, the 2009 survey of community health systems mentioned above specifically recommended that community health system boards consider appointing expert nursing leaders as voting board members to strengthen clinical input in deliberations and decision-making processes (Prybil et al., 2009).
More CNOs need to prepare themselves and seek out opportunities to serve on the boards of health-related institutions. If decisions are taking place about patient care and a nurse is not at the decision-making table, important perspectives will be missed. CNOs should also promote leadership activities among their staff, encouraging them to secure important decision-making positions on committees and boards, both internal and external to the organization.
Institute of Medicine. (2010). The future of nursing: Leading change, advancing health. Report recommendations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
For more information about CNOs roles and responsibilities, please read this article:
Please use the IOM report “The Future of Nursing”, and other references, to answer the following question:
How should the Chief Nursing Officer impact nurses in their everyday duties? focus on 3 most important/influential
The report should help you develop your discussion, and you must include your own experience as a healthcare professional to support your argument. Make sure to include your own critical and analytical ideas based on your experiences. Please do not attempt to address every aspect of the Chief Nursing Officer’s impact on nurses. Instead, focus on three areas you think are most important.
3 areas more important
Include a list of references in APA format, 6th edition, use at least 3 peer-reviewed references published within 5 years.
4 pages total cover page, 2 pages of content, one reference page
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