Competent nurse leaders are needed in transition

Hannele Tiittanen
LAB University of Applied Sciences (former Lahti University of Applied Sciences)

In an organization’s transition situation, the leadership skills are tested. The health care settings in Kazakhstan are going through a historical change, as the largest health care work force, nurses, are getting entirely new roles, responsibilities, and positions in all levels of health care organizations. This situation is an opportunity to career development for nurses. Upgrading the nursing degree to applied or academic bachelor’s degree is the first step in career steps and would give a nurse independent role to implement nursing care. Having a master's degree, would open the possibility to apply for leadership positions in an organization. Aiming to become a nurse leader is a high aim. In transition situations, talented and competent nurse leaders are needed to develop nursing and to give direction to nursing work. Being in a leadership position involves the ability to empower the nursing staff and support their commitment to the strategic aims, but also the ability to overcome the resistance, which is expected in transition situations.

ProInCa project is supporting the structural changes in health care as well as strengthens nurse leaders' roles and positions in the same context. Now is the time in health care organizations to make capacity-building development plans for nursing staff to upgrade their nursing degrees. This also means degree upgrading of many nurse leaders in current management positions. Investing in nursing staff and nurse leaders' capacity building is also the best possible investment in an organization's development. Competent nursing staff and nurse leaders are better able to respond to the needs of the population. Moreover, competent staff can work more independently, effectively, and improve the safety and quality of the care. While competent nurse leaders are more capable of leading the nursing staff, especially in a changed situation. To get the next step in a nursing career path is to get a Master's or Doctoral degree in Nursing. In Florence Nightingale's words, "Let us never consider ourselves finished nurses....we must be learning all of our lives." Take the next step and the chance to become a leader.

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