Leadership is key to an effective and compassionate health system, experts say


“Higher degrees such as a master’s degree in nursing with a specialization in leadership and management [can] equip nurses with the knowledge and skills to lead and manage in the dynamic and challenging environment of contemporary health care.

Postgraduate courses that include topics in clinical governance, IT for healthcare professionals and business essentials “are highly desirable to further develop advanced management practice, critical thinking, problem solving and professionalism of nurses.

Nurses ‘very good at nursing’

The federal government JobOutlook states that the skill sets needed to be a nurse manager or manager of health and welfare services are “very high”, with very strong job growth prospects for both professions.

The unit’s nurse manager, Megan Breen, graduated with a master’s degree in nursing, specializing in leadership and management, last year as part of a career spanning nearly 30 years.

“Historically, nursing leadership and management was more about seniority than leadership potential or skill,” Ms. Breen said. “Nurses tend to be very good at nursing, but not necessarily at health care.

“I believe that a nurse with a high level of clinical skills combined with postgraduate training in leadership and management is the panacea for modern health care challenges.”

The pandemic has worsened burnout

Even before the pandemic hit in early 2020, many healthcare professionals were already experiencing significant burnout. The last two years have added fuel to the fire.

“I had two different roles during this time and have seen firsthand the disastrous results of untrained and unskilled health care management and leadership,” Ms Breen said.

“It certainly reinforced for me the impact of leadership in an organization and the importance of highly skilled leaders and managers.”

Ms Breen says postgraduate study has significantly improved her communication and leadership skills, but has also added considerable levels of insight and understanding of the healthcare sector.

“Health leaders can make or break an organization. It’s about building [solidarity]which improves retention and leads teams through crises while managing and navigating what is essentially a business. »

Ms Breen says a failure to build a future health workforce that will produce leaders and managers “will have a significant cost to the system, and more than just fiscally.”

“I sincerely believe that my studies have given me additional skills that are highly desirable in the field of health. I now use all of the theory to hone my leadership and management skills.


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