The Preparation of Nurse Unit Managers for Their Role


Talavera, Josefina (2018) The Preparation of Nurse Unit Managers for Their Role. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


Background and purpose of the study. The professionalisation of nursing saw the emergence of nurses in management roles including that of the Nurse Unit Manager (NUM). These NUMs are usually experienced in their designated clinical area. However, they are now expected to have business and management skills. Some nurse leaders with whom the researcher discussed her proposed research before its commencement and a review of the literature, indicated a gap in the research on how NUMs could better prepare for their role, what needs to be included in management and leadership courses, and more importantly, how NUMs acquire the necessary skills. This study investigated how case writing can be used as a professional development tool to help existing NUMs improve their skills and how it will help aspiring NUMs prepare for their role. The aims of this study were: (1) to identify how well prepared NUMs are for assuming their role; (2) to identify the skills required for the role of the NUM; (3) to identify the management challenges of the NUM’s role; (4) to identify the barriers in acquiring the skills required for the role; and (5) to explore how reflection through case writing can improve skills. Methods. Three primary samples: NUMs, ANUMs (Associate Nurse Unit Managers) and RNs (Registered Nurses) participated in this study. The study utilised both qualitative and quantitative methodologies by employing in-depth interviews and a survey. Case and commentary writing was also employed with NUMs. Results. The findings of the study show that NUMs were promoted to their positions by chance and not by conscious choice, or pre-chosen by management having been perceived to have the leadership and management skills for the role. Although NUMs found leadership workshops and courses very helpful, they found it difficult to put the knowledge gained into practice. They commented that they valued the knowledge they gained from reading and commenting on other NUMs’ case scenarios. Methods and results of the study will be discussed in more detail in the thesis.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1110 Nursing
Historical > FOR Classification > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education
Historical > FOR Classification > 1503 Business and Management
Current > Division/Research > College of Arts and Education
Keywords nursing; Nurse Unit Manager; skills; management; leadership; case writing; professional development; Associate Nurse Unit Manager; Registered Nurses
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