Academic journal article Frontiers of Health Services Management

The Commentaries: A Summary

Academic journal article Frontiers of Health Services Management

The Commentaries: A Summary

Article excerpt

THIS ISSUE OF Frontiers is devoted to exploring possible solutions to the nursing shortage, which affects virtually every healthcare organization in the nation today. To bring additional perspective to this question, we have asked three well-known and highly respected healthcare professionals to serve as commentators on Janet Quinn's lead article for this issue.

The first commentary is written by James H. Skogsbergh, FACHE, president and chief executive officer of Advocate Health Care in Oak Brook, Illinois. In his remarks, Skogsbergh agrees with the premise that nurses are "everyday heroes" in hospitals and their work must be valued as central to the healing mission. However, he questions the utility of the Nightingale units proposed by Quinn as a means by which nurses can achieve the goals Quinn advocates. As an alternative, Skogsbergh recommends that hospitals seek to "develop a culture at the nursing-- unit level that sustains, nurtures, and recognizes its nurses." He sees the existing magnet certification process as the means by which this goal can be achieved and encourages all nursing units to meet these magnet standards.

Sharon A. Lee, R.N., FACHE, is vice president of nursing and patient care at St. Luke's Regional Medical Center in Boise, Idaho. Lee brings the perspective of someone on the front lines of nursing and is personally working to manage the effects of the nursing shortage in her organization. Lee acknowledges that a number of important environmental conditions currently exist that, taken together, add to the complexity of the problem. Among these conditions are the emerging opportunities for women in careers other than nursing, the aging nursing population, the effects of hospital downsizing in the i99os, and an increasing demand for registered nursing services coupled with a shrinking supply of nurses. To effectively deal with the current and projected shortages, Lee recommends that hospitals examine work redesign, pay attention to staffing based on patient acuity, collaborate with schools of nursing, work to increase the numbers of men and minorities in nursing, and seek to establish magnet designation for hospitals. …

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