Breaking the Glass Ceiling for Nurses in Health Care Organizations

    • July 29, 2009

From 2005 to 2008, the National Center for Healthcare Leadership conducted research to identify best practices for increasing the role of nurses in the senior leadership of health care organizations and designed a model intervention for enhancing nursing leadership.

Key Results

Project staff developed a model intervention including executive coaching and problem-solving through teamwork, but were unable to pilot test the intervention during the grant period.

Key Findings

Six core factors that appeared to enhance organizational effectiveness in quality and safety initiatives were:

  • Clarity of focus on quality and safety priorities and clarity of roles regarding quality and safety initiatives at all levels
  • Competencies of the chief nursing officer as an individual and in his/her relationships with key people: chief executive officer, chief financial officer, service line directors and nursing staff
  • Teamwork and collaboration among the senior leadership team in establishing quality and patient safety goals
  • Employee engagement including sufficient access to the chief nurse officer and chief executive officer and input into and support of policies
  • Adequate resources to pursue quality and patient safety objectives
  • Accountability and the alignment of incentives with patient care priorities on the unit