This week over 1700 nurse leaders and decision makers will meet in Boston for the AONE 45th Annual Meeting and Exposition. The theme for this year's AONE (American Organization of Nurse Executives) conference is focused on preparing nurse leaders to shape health care through innovative and expert leadership.
Looking at the conference agenda, what is most striking is the diversity of the session topics.
There are sessions on leveraging technology to enhance clinical practices, sessions on facilitating change - in culture, in workflow, in decision-making practices - and sessions on how to better manage operating budgets. There's even a session on the role of the Chief Nursing Officer in disaster management.
The broad range of topics is a bold reminder of the diverse range of skills that nurse executives require to help their organizations be successful. It also reinforces the importance of a strong competency management framework within the nursing field.
Competency Management and the Future of Nursing
While clinical competency management is critical to ensure patient safety and satisfaction, there is another set of competencies that are just as critical.
Developing non-clinical competencies such as strategic planning, leadership development, financial stewardship, employee engagement and accountable governance help healthcare organizations to succeed in the ever-changing nature of the nursing profession.
Because of innovations, technology and regulatory changes, a nurse's job this year is different from it was last year. These non-clinical competencies help to ensure your nurses can apply their skills to the work setting they are currently in, no matter how quickly that setting evolves.
They also help to ensure your nurse leaders can take an active role in leading your organization through health care reform still unfolding.
A strong competency management framework allows you to define the skills that are both unique and critical to your organization's success, and to the effectiveness of a particular role or function. It includes both organizational core competencies as well as job-specific competencies.
The former reflect the performance management standards that represent your organization's culture, values, and strategic goals. The latter define job-specific competencies that reflect the abilities required for success and high performance in the job.
A strong competency management model helps healthcare organizations to develop employees and cultivate critical competencies needed to ensure patient safety and meet healthcare performance standards. Of course, we know this.
However, a strong competency management framework also helps to ensure your organization is ready to address the impact of innovative technologies for practice and the outcomes from health care reform.
Competency management then, extends beyond the need to address regulatory requirements and ensure patient safety, to include increasing your organization's ability to shape the future of the nursing practice.
Heady stuff, indeed.
If you're attending the AONE 45th Annual Meeting and Exposition, stop by Booth # 623 to speak with either myself or my colleague, Matt. We'd love to talk with you about how we can help your organization develop a strong competency management program.
Best Practices in Competency Assessment
For more on this topic, watch this short video featuring Donna Wright, a noted international expert, consultant and author of The Ultimate Guide to Competency Assessment in Healthcare. In the video, Donna explains why competency assessments are about more than accreditation:
I invite you to watch the rest of this four-part video series with Donna Wright as she addresses some of the basic questions and challenges healthcare facilities face in completing and managing competency assessments.
See you in Boston!