The nursing strategy is essential for the effective nursing care and functioning of health care organizations. The development of the nursing strategy should comprise several fundamental elements, including nursing communication, the effective implementation of the nursing strategy, and others. In addition, the nursing strategy should be grounded on a profound research of the current situation in the health care system and in hospitals where the nursing strategy is applied. Hence, the development of an effective nursing strategy is a complicated process, which implies understanding of the current needs of health care system, nurses and health care professionals along with needs of patients who are recipients of health care services, including nursing care. The development of a nursing strategy can contribute to the consistent improvement of the quality of nursing care and health care services at large. Moreover, the nursing strategy influences the functioning of health care organizations consistently as well as the relationship between health care professionals and patients. In such a context, the significance of the nursing strategy can hardly be underestimated and the development of a truly effective nursing strategy should be grounded on the detailed analysis of the nursing environment, needs of health care professionals and patients, understanding of new challenges and ways of their solution in the context of the national health care system. The major goal of the modern nursing strategy is to ensure the provision of nursing care of the highest quality and permanent, professional support of patients along with the training of the nursing staff to enlarge professional knowledge and skills of nurses.
In the contemporary health care environment, nursing communication should be viewed on several levels. First of all, nursing communication implies the communication of nurses and patients. Patients need to have an opportunity to communicate constantly with nurses to get information concerning their health and other important issues (Kasper, 2005). Nurses, in their turn, should provide patients with professional information to ensure the stability of the psychological state of patients, which is an essential condition of a normal recovery of patients in the course of treatment. The role of nurses is not limited with professional consultations of patients. In fact, the communication between nurses and patients should be viewed in a larger context than the communication between a health care professional and a patient. In actuality, nurses need to develop positive interpersonal relations with patients to demonstrate their friendliness, supportiveness and to increase the confidence of patients in their qualification and their ability to help them to recover. Nurses should perform functions of counselors since patients need people who could support them, calm them down, ensure that they would recover soon or that they would not have complications in the course of the treatment. Hence, the nurse-patient communication should be grounded on positive interpersonal relationships between nurses and patients.
Another aspect of nursing communication implies the communication of nurses with other health care professionals. This professional nursing communication should be very effective and precise. Nurses need to understand physicians treating patients in order to maintain the process of treatment and provide patients with nursing care respective to the treatment appointed by physicians. However, the communication of nurses and physicians should not be a one-sided process. In other words, the communication of nurses and physician should not be instructive solely, when physicians give instructions, which nurses fulfill precisely (Kasper, 2005). In contrast, the effective communication of nurses and physicians is a two-sided process when physicians get feedback from nurses and when they get addition information on the state of patients in the course of the treatment. The latter is important since nurses spend more time with patients than physicians do and well-qualified nurses can notice significant changes in the state of patients, which may need the introduction of changes in the treatment. In such a situation, nurses need to be able to communicate with physicians and together they can develop an effective treatment for each particular patient.
The effective nursing strategy cannot be limited to the effective nurse communication solely. The nursing strategy involves the definition of goals the strategy is supposed to achieve, the development of a plan of the nursing strategy, and the implementation of the plan, which should be backed up by the system of control over the implementation of the plan (Sloane, 2003). Goals of the nursing strategy have been defined above as the provision of efficient nursing care to patients, development of positive interpersonal relations with patient and communication with both patients and health care professionals.
The plan of the nursing strategy implies the development of goals and ways of their achievement in the hospital environment. In such a context, the implementation of the plan is a crucial point in the successful implementation of the strategy (Sloane, 2003). The implementation process should be grounded on the plan and the effective implementation of the nursing strategy implies the realization of each point of the plan. If the strategy is implemented in accordance with the plan, it is likely to have positive outcomes and, what is more, it will meet goals defined.
On the other hand, in the actual health care environment, it is not always possible to implement the nursing strategy precisely in accordance with the original plan. Instead, the introduction of changes may be needed in the course of the implementation of the nursing strategy. Consequently, the implementation process should be flexible, i.e. in the process of implementation, it is possible to change the original plan in response to new challenges or new circumstances, which make the implementation of the original plan impossible or the implementation of the original plan makes the nursing strategy ineffective in a new environment (Miller, 2003). In such a situation, the introduction of changes is crucial for the effective implementation of the nursing strategy. In this respect, it is possible to recommend the development of multiple options for the implementation of the original plan.
The implementation of the nursing strategy is impossible without governance. The governance contributes to the proper organization and control over the implementation of the nursing strategy. The governance of the strategy, which aims at the improvement of the quality of nursing care, formation of positive interpersonal relations between nurses and patients and effective communication of nurses and patients as well as nurses and other health care professionals, implies the supervision of the implementation of such a strategy by the nursing staff (Schiller,2007). The responsibility is crucial in the governance of the nursing strategy that means that it is necessary to clearly define an individual responsible for the implementation and management of the nursing strategy.
At this point several options are possible. Firstly, the manager, i.e. a professional responsible for the governance, may be appointed by the administration of the hospital. Secondly, the manager can be elected by the nursing staff (Miller, 2003). The former option ensures that a well-qualified professional will be appointed, while the latter option ensures that the elected manager will be supported by the nursing staff and nurses will accept the manager and his or her decisions without opposition. Alternatively, it is possible to appoint a manager after consultations with nurses. In fact, this approach is the most effective because it ensures a compromise between the two aforementioned options. Hence, the manager will be qualified and supported by the nursing staff.
The leadership can increase the effectiveness of nursing strategy. At this point, it is necessary to distinguish the formal and informal leadership. The formal leadership implies that the leader has the formal authority in the organization and the nursing staff obeys to the leader due to his or her authority. On the other hand, there may be informal leaders among the nursing staff, which may be very influential and their position will influence the implementation of the nursing strategy. Hence, it is necessary to avoid conflicts between formal and informal leaders, while, ideally, there should be no informal leaders in the nursing staff (Longstreth, 2006). To avoid informal leadership or opposition to the formal leader, it is necessary to involve the nursing staff in the development of the nursing strategy and its implementation. For instance, nurses should give their recommendations concerning their own vision of their work, which should be taken into consideration while developing a nursing strategy. In addition, if the leader is approved by the nursing staff, the risk of the appearance of informal leaders is relatively low.
Service effectiveness is the primary concern of the modern nursing strategy. The service effectiveness implies that nurses are able to provide nursing care for patients of a high quality and patients should receive the nursing care permanently (Longstreth, 2006). The effectiveness of nursing care is achieved through adequate work and professionalism of the nursing staff.
The nursing strategy should be grounded on clear nursing philosophy which should be a moral basis of work of the nursing staff (Kasper, 2005). Today, the nursing philosophy should be focused on fundamental humanistic values, such as the primary concern with the health and well-being of patients, professionalism, responsibility, and well-developed communication skills.
Research and development
The research and development contribute to the improvement of the professional qualification of nurses. Nurses need to work on their professional skills and training can facilitate consistently their work. The research is needed to keep nurses in pace with the development of modern medicine that will ensure their ability to implement modern, sophisticated approaches to nursing care.
The development of the nursing strategy cannot occur independently of the national strategy. Instead, hospitals should develop their nursing strategies which meet national requirements and standards applied to nursing care (Alam and Ashraf, 2003). As a result, it will be possible to ensure that specific nursing strategy will meet the national standards and therefore, it will ensure the provision of nursing care of the high quality.
Thus, the modern nursing strategy should aim at the improvement of the quality of nursing care, professional level of nurses, the development of positive interpersonal relations of nurses and patients, which relies on communication skills of nurses. The implementation of the strategy should be managed and controlled by the leader which is accepted by the nursing staff and the administration of the hospital. Finally, the nursing strategy should meet national standards of nursing care.