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Susie Smith had been a registered nurse for 25 years and a nurse manager for more than 10 years when she was asked to take over as nurse manager of a particular unit known throughout the hospital as the “danger zone.” Although she had heard a few things about this floor, because of the size of the hospital and her recent assignment in a relatively removed area, Susie had little information about why the area was so designated.
After 3 months on the job, Susie had formed some strong opinions regarding the bases of many of the unit’s problems. To her, the majority of the staff exhibited a complete lack of professionalism. Susie was convinced of this for a number of reasons:
- There were many appearance problems and many violations of the departmental dress code. If there were a worst dressed list, her nurses would be on it.
- The unit’s rate of absenteeism was the worst of any nursing unit in the hospital.
- Two unsuccessful attempts by unions to organize the nursing staff had been originated with “danger zone” nurses.
- Susie had never before seen a unit with such a high level of schedule juggling- shift trade requests for specific days off and especially changes to the schedule at the last minute.
It was not long before Susie found herself becoming highly cynical about the unit and its future. It seemed to her that nursing meant no more to many of these people than a paycheck and that they constantly put their social lives and personal preferences before the needs of the patients.
At about the six-month point in her tenure, Susie received a startling piece of second hand information from a friend who swore her to secrecy as the source. It was apparently a closely guarded senior management team secret that her unit was deliberately maintained as a concentration of marginal employees. It was, in Susie’s friend’s words, “to keep the problem children all in one place as much as possible, so they won’t disrupt other units.” Susie’s friend also shared that if Susie simply quietly did her job, that she would be reassigned in about 18 months, when it would become someone’s job and problem.
Susie was shocked and angry. However, the more she thought about it, the more she became determined to do something with the time she had left on the unit. With about a year until the 18-month mark, she decided she was going to do everything in her power as a leader to turn the “danger zone” into an effective, efficient, and accountable nursing unit.
Case Study Instructions
Using the information and guidelines provided, at a minimum, please address the following:
- 6 pages, 12 point font, title page (not included in the 6 page count), reference page (not included in the 6 page count) and each page numbered.
- at least 5 citations
- Each bolded section should be a header in the paper
- The Business Problem – Quantify the problem that Susie needs to solve.
- The Organizational Environment – Provide an Environmental Assessment of Susie’s circumstances
- What are the organizational characteristics of the hospital? Of the department?
- Is quality of care an issue?
- What evidence is there to support your answer?
- What are Susie’s major managerial challenges?
- What tools and/or techniques will serve her best as she tackles this business problem?
- The Challenges of Employee Engagement – Discuss Susie’s role in employee motivation, empowerment, engagement and development
- Managing Through Change – Discuss Susie’s role as change agent.
- What employee dynamics should she anticipate?
- How will she address them?
- What communication strategies will she use and why?
- The Execution Strategy – Develop a simple 10 to 20 step Project Plan, including timeframes, through which Susie will operationalize her solutions. You may use whatever time period you wish.
- The Use of Human Resources – How can the department be best leveraged in Susie’s efforts?
- Management Controls, Measures and Monitors – How will Susie create accountability, monitor progress and measure success?