Leadership Q&A : Nursing Management

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Department: Leadership Q&A

Leadership Q&A

Murray, Kathleen MSN, RN, CNA

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Nursing Management (Springhouse): January 2014 - Volume 45 - Issue 1 - p 56
doi: 10.1097/01.NUMA.0000440640.27997.23
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Plan for succession success

Q Our CNO talks about succession planning, but I'm not sure what that entails. Can you outline a well-developed succession plan?


In 2006, Nursing Management conducted a survey of 1,000 American nurse leaders, and 55% of the respondents indicated that they would be retiring between 2011 and 2020. The retirement of a large number of nurse leaders will result in an overabundance of leadership opportunities within the next 6 years. Clearly, baby boomer CNO leaders are at a pivotal point in their careers where their focus needs to shift from leading to building leaders through a formalized, developed succession plan.

An integral component of a well-executed succession plan is a full assessment of organizationally identified leadership skills that are needed for the future transformation of healthcare delivery. There should be a balance between the well-established leadership skills of the present and those needed for the future.

An infrastructure of continuous leadership development opportunities also needs to be in place. Normally, the organization develops a tiered leadership development approach based on the identified qualities that a leader must possess to be successful. You may hear words such as integrity, self-awareness, courage, insight, compassion, teamwork, resilience, and commitment.

Next, your organization needs to communicate that a succession plan doesn't guarantee a trajectory to the top but does provide the development of diverse skills and competencies, which leads to multiple opportunities for up-and-coming leaders. It's important for the organization to provide a variety of rotations so up-and-coming leaders may be recognized as potential candidates for diverse leadership positions. Engaging potential leaders in the process is a key component of succession planning.

Finally, a well-developed succession plan needs to include a strategy for key stakeholders to understand generational differences. Friction is on the horizon as the work-focused baby boomers begin to exit the workforce and generations X and Y take over. As the baton is handed to the next generations, you want to make sure a smooth transition occurs. What's the telltale sign of a well-developed succession plan? The continued success of the organization after the baby boomers retire.

What's new for Magnet®?

Q Can you highlight the 2014 Magnet Application Manual changes?

A significant change to the 2014 Magnet manual is the number of pages an organization is allowed to submit as its core document. In 2014, the number of core document pages can't exceed 350. It's important to note that the 350-page limit doesn't include the organizational overview, supporting source of evidence, and sources of evidence for nurse satisfaction, patient satisfaction, and nurse-sensitive clinical indicators. In addition, attachments for each example within a source of evidence have been limited to a maximum of five. The 2014 manual also provides a standardized format/template for tables and graphs when submitting the facility's empirical outcomes.


The table highlights the key changes.

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