In recent years, the muse executive (NK) lias become an integral part of the hospital administrative team. The position lias taken on a higher profile, and many questions are surfacing about every facet of NK administration. Since 1991, the literature is replete with articles discussing the new NK role. This article is a review summary and consolidation of 19 recently published articles, selected from a much broader list of periodical articles. It also reflects the results of six focus groups with hospital administrators and NEs in both urban and rural healthcare delivery settings. The summary pinpoints attributes identified as essential to an NK and those areas in which more research is needed. It also discloses that to function effectively, the new NK must have flexible and action-oriented personality qualities, possess executive level business management skills, have completed some graduate level degree work, and be an expert on clinical affairs. Future research should concentrate on the diverse educational needs of NKs and how to best meet those needs.
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