This analysis will review the leadership and organizational style at Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, CO. Poudre Valley Hospital located in Colorado is a magnet hospital consistently aspiring for excellence in health care delivery. PVH is considered a leading source of healthcare for residents living in northeastern CO and outlying regions including southern Wyoming and western Kansas (AHA, 2003). PVH is nationally known as a Magnet hospital awarded for its nursing excellence via the American Nurses Credentialing Center (AHA, 2003).
Nursing director’s work directly with general managers in the organization to ensure the success of the organization. The nursing director is considered a pivotal person in the development of positive nursing roles and a positive nurse team (AHA, 2003). In this organizational structure the director of nursing serves at the executive level of the organization (AHA, 2003). The director of nursing reports directly to the CEO.
The organizational structure includes a top down style of leadership combined with a transformational or participative management style that encourages communication at all levels of the organization. Within PVH, decentralized department structures exist allowing nursing staff to feel more in control of their working environment and to become more involved in the day-to-day management affairs of the hospital. There are multiple committee structures set up to enable greater participation among nursing staff.
The management style adopted by the director of nursing includes a participative management style, which allows for greater nurse involvement at each level of the organization (AHA, 20030. Participation is not only actively sought after but also encouraged and easily accessed. Communication is key in this organizational structure and management style. Leadership Theory in Healthcare Lanza (1997) cites several researchers suggesting that leadership in the healthcare environment must empower nurses and staff to carry out job functions in a participative and autonomous fashion (Curtin, 1995).
Nurses work in an ever challenging and stressful environment; in this environment psychological and leadership theory both lend themselves to the idea that work empowerment and decision making participation will contribute to effective leadership and job satisfaction when compared with an environment that does not support the ability of nursing staff to make independent decisions (Lanza, 1997; Berger ; Mizrahi, 2005).
Further studies suggest that participative and transformational leadership help inspire and motivate subordinates to work toward common “organizational goals” that may overstep individual interests or needs (Berger ; Mizrahi, 2005). In the healthcare environment it is easy for leaders to be overwhelmed by the “day-to-day” demands of the job” which can contribute to chaos and disorganization (Kerfoot, 2000).
To prevent this leaders must not only work toward the future but also handle daily operations in a knowledgeable and controlled manner so that leaders understand and can translate various patterns and trends within the organization “into strategies that could positively position their teams and departments” in an ever changing work environment (Berger & Mizrahi, 2005:155).
A participative leadership style such as that exhibited at PVH enables leaders and managers within the nursing staff team to adopt resilient measures for combating the day-to-day pressures evidenced in the health care environment, particularly when the environment is unstable or volatile (Globerman, et al. 2003). Among the important characteristics of leadership include a strong commitment to values and morals, empowerment within the workforce, strategic vision and effective communication and proactive participation among all members of the organization (Rank & Hutchinson, 2000).
Lebrasseru, Ojha & Whissell (2002) note that commitment and implementation of continuous quality improvement processes are also vital to general hospitals and occur as a “paradigm shift in organizational learning. ” This approach suggests that a top down approach to transformational leadership may be possible in a hospital environment if it encourages training, teamwork, participation, training and education for all healthcare staff (Lebrasseru, Ojha & Whissell, 2002). Leadership at PVH in Nursing
The primary leadership style demonstrated by the director of nursing at PVH is a participative and transformational leadership style. As suggested by the literature review of various leadership practices in the health care environment, this form of leadership encourages greater empowerment and proactive participation among all team members within the organization. At this time the organizational structure supports this form of leadership. At PVH the organizational structure is structured in a top down method but encourages cross team or horizontal communication through various participative efforts.
These include establishment of multiple committees that nurses can participate in. These committees allow nursing staff to participate in the decision making process, further empowering them and creating an autonomous environment but still supporting the premise that team work and pro action are vital in the healthcare setting. Within PVH various leadership positions support a transformational leadership style, or one that will help drive change within the hospital into the next century.
Various positions include the director of community nursing, director of nurse recruitment and various nurse managers. PVH is a magnet hospital, suggesting that the standards of nursing and patient care excellence far exceed that of a traditional hospital. Typically in these environments nurses are provided unique opportunities for developing their careers and for advancement because they are continually encouraged to learn and grow with the organization.
Magnet status suggest that the hospital continually works to recruit a divers population of nursing professionals to contribute to the overall dynamic of the organization. Magnet hospitals are also commonly referred to as ‘leading the industry’ because they consistently provide an ‘environment of excellence that makes nurses want to stay there” (Carol, 2005). By very definition magnet hospital organizational structures including that at PVH promote transformational and participative leadership, ideal for promoting greater communication, knowledge sharing and empowerment within the organization.
As such PVH is continually moving toward the future, looking for ways to increase it’s efficiency, status and ability to care for the needs not only of patients but also of staff and nursing managers working within the environment. The nursing team at PVH definitely have the support, commitment and training they need to act proactively and autonomously within their environment while contributing to the greater good of the organization as a whole.
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