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Impact of Nursing Theory Upon Healthcare Organization

Discuss how a specific middle-range nursing theory has been or could be applied by nurse leaders or nurse managers to effectively deal with an administrative issue (i.e., staffing, use of supplies, staff performance issues). Include an example from the literature or your own experience to illustrate your points.

A middle-range nursing theory that can be applied by nurse leaders and/or nurse managers to effectively deal with staff performance issues is the Nursing Intellectual Capital theory. Christine Covell introduced this theory into the nursing profession. Covell and Sidani (2013) described the theory as being borrowed from the business and finance intellectual capital theory that states a corporation improves as an employee’s knowledge base and efficacy increases. When applied to nursing, as the nurse’s knowledge base and skills are enhanced, the end result is improved patient outcomes.

Impact of Nursing Theory Upon Healthcare Organization

One of the responsibilities of a nurse manager is to build a strong relationship with their employees. Furthermore, it is important that nursing leadership continue to grow their nursing capital. McEwen and Willis (2014) explains those in nursing leadership roles should have extensive knowledge of administrative and management models and theories so they can be implemented into practice. As it pertains to nursing, the theory of intellectual capital support from the healthcare organization must be given to provide the necessary means for continuing educational growth of the employee. Once the education is obtained, it should be put into practice in order to have a positive impact on patient care and the organizational nursing outcomes.

As health care reform continues to affect change throughout the organizational structure and care delivery systems, organizations continue to look for ways to have a positive impact on patient care and outcomes. At this author’s current place of employment, magnet recognition remains a valuable part of the health care structure. Implementing and establishing the philosophies of the nursing intellectual capital theory will ensure continued Magnet status.

Impact of Nursing Theory Upon Healthcare Organization

With the growth of this author’s employer, the hospital has experienced higher patient volumes and acuity. As the nursing shortage continues to impact organizations around the country, employers are faced with hiring nurses at the novice level. This author has experienced an increase in float pool nurses to her specific department. Although these nurses have experience in nursing, they lack knowledge specific to the disease process of the unit’s particular patients. Often times, this puts additional strain to the unit specific nurses and patient satisfaction. Nursing leaders that implement the Nursing Intellectual Capital theory equip staff with the means to gain much needed knowledge to provide best patient care. In addition, nurses who are given the knowledge necessary to perform their job duties have a sense of empowerment. Spence, Read, Wilk, and Finegan (2014) report when nursing empowerment is achieved, patient safety, nursing job satisfaction, and departmental benchmarking is improved.

Initiating a nursing intellectual capital theory based educational program for float pool nurses for the specialty units will allow those nurses to obtain skills and knowledge essential to making a positive impact on patient care.

Transformational leadership theory was developed by James MacGregor Burns, his theory focuses on the ultimate goal of leadership and the reason why one should become a leader. Burns idea of leadership occurs when leaders engage with other people in a way that they raise one another to reach high level of motivation, they keep the morality high and empower each other for better selves. Burns believe that leaders must be sensitive to the needs and values of others and good leaders should listen and address themselves to the need of their followers as well as their own (Richardson, 2011). I chose James’s theory for leaders because leaders and staff must work together as a team in order to achieve better performance. The dictionary define leadership as a position that individual holds and he or she able to control or influence over others (Leader, n.d.).

I think leaders should empower other people and help them to reach and improve their performance. Nurse leader must be sensitive to patients needs and work as a team with other healthcare professionals. In order to improve staff performance leaders must have the ability to integrate professional’s values, communication skills and nursing abilities into behaviors when the main focus on patients’ outcome and peer interactions. Leaders must be committed to excellence and be able to develop a plan to increase staff satisfaction by involving all staff levels, leaders must also be able to adjust and make changes as needed. Relationships between leaders and staff should be based on respect and trust so employees will feel comfortable to present issues when they occur. For example, one of the nurses in my unit had a family issue that interfere with her job, she spends long hours on the phone, she seems to be overwhelmed and upset most of the day. She could not catch up with her work and was late to medicate her patients, as a co worker some of us tried helping her but when we realized that this issue last longer than few days and her patients was in risk we took it to our manger. We did not want to get her in trouble but it was the best way to save her job because she already had few major mistakes that had the potential to harm patient health.

Our manger called the nurse to her office in order to confirm our concerns, she also investigated if the mistakes that the nurse made were because of being distracted or she had lack of knowledge. Our manger gave the nurse some time off to work out her family issue and when the nurse returned she had to complete training classes that a sign to her by the manger in order to improve her knowledge so she will not repeat the same mistakes. The manger also informs the charge nurses so they will pay attention and help the nurse as needed. In this case the manger was very sensitive to the family issue that the nurse dealt with and at the same time provided tools to improve knowledge and performance so the nurses will not lose her license by risking patients life. The nurse appreciated the help and used all the advices to improve her performance.

Today’s healthcare systems are complex with various issues that need to be addressed on a daily basis. Nursing leadership is challenged with solving these different issues with a multitude of resources provided to them by the hospital and the nursing profession. One such resource is Madeleine Leininger’s Culture Care Diversity and Universality theory and it is an excellent resource to tackle the problem of cultural insensitivity within the hospital environment. With today’s hospital employee’s being so culturally diverse it is very important for nursing leadership to attend to situations of cultural inconsiderateness appropriately. Recently, I witnessed an example of culturally insensitive behavior in my work environment. There was a complicated procedure in the catheterization lab and the doctor was beginning to get frustrated with a newly hired tech that was assisting with the procedure. The tech had handed the doctor the wrong wire, allowed air to get into his manifold, and made a couple of other minor mistakes. A nurse from another lab walked in and offered assistance and the doctor responded by saying they could help by interpreting what the tech was saying. This interpretation is a watered down version of what the doctor actually said but it still was hurtful and inconsiderate. The nurse manager was notified and dealt with the situation abruptly. I have experienced similar circumstances where staff members have made inappropriate comments regarding the Asian culture unbeknownst to them my wife is Chinese. Leininger’s theory is a resource, not only for patient care but also for staff advocacy regarding cultural issues (Martin, 2014). Her theory focuses on being culturally aware of all individuals needs and developing strategies for promoting change towards this awareness. Leininger’s theory can be used to educate newly hired staff in cultural sensitivity and as a resource for addressing culturally ethical issues like the previously stated examples. Cultural sensitivity does not only apply to patients but also includes fellow employees. We should all think twice before making comments that could be hurtful to others.


Covell, C. L., & Sidani, S. (2013). Nursing intellectual capital theory: Implications for research and practice. Online Journal of Issues In Nursing, 18(2), 1. doi:10.3912/OJIN.Vol18No02Man02

McEwen, M., & Wills, E. (2014). Theoretical basis for nursing (4th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Martin, M. B. (2014). Transcultural advocacy and policy in the workplace: implications for nurses in professional development. Journal for Nurses in Professional Development, 30(1), 29-33. https://doi.org/10.1097/NND.0000000000000027

Leader. (n.d.). Retrieved November 26, 2017, from Business Dictionary: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/leader.html

Richardson, D. (2011). WRITING & RESEARCH. Transformational Leaders. Radiologic Technology, 82(5), 478-480.

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