Outlook: Providers favor versatile, gifted managers

Trend points toward increasing roles

In 1996, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in Washington, DC, released a report, "Nursing Staff in Hospitals and Nursing Homes: Is It Adequate?"

The report outlined changes that would significantly affect nurses in the future. Among them, the IOM cited an "increasing need for interdisciplinary teamwork" and "changing care-delivery models with nurses taking leadership roles in [their] design and implementation."

Ironically, nurses pursuing administration degrees are decreasing even while nursing graduate school enrollments are steadily growing.1

Nurse graduate enrollments rise

Nursing administration majors accounted for only 7.1% in the fall of 1997, compared to 13.6% in the same period in 1994. Meanwhile, 57% of enrollees in nursing graduate programs were nurse practitioners in 1997, while enrollment stood at 36.8% in 1994. However, in the workplace, at least one survey reveals different information. The trend toward future hiring in managerial positions is on the upswing, as revealed by the following statistics:1

Roles present in >50% of sample Currently filled* Plan to increase* Plan to decrease*
Supervisor/shift coordinator 83.3 3.4 12.6
Unit charge RN 76.9 8.1 6.1
Nurse manager (2 units) 70.9 9.1 3.0
Nurse manager (1 unit) 55.1 2.7 11.8
Nursing director-specialty units 51.7 3.4 6.1
Roles projected to decrease by >10% of sample
Supervisor 83.4 3.4 12.3
Nurse manager (1 unit) 55.1 2.7 11.8
* Figures reflect percentage of survey respondents in each category.


1. Krejci JW. Changing roles in nursing: Perceptions of nurse administrators. JONA 1999; 29(3):21-29.