“Historically, promotion to management positions has been a key pathway by which hospital staff nurses advance their careers, and these promotions typically occur before the nurse has acquired any formal management training” (Weisman, Minnick, Dienemann & Cassard, 1995, p. 296). Nurse managers are often driven to their roles due to sudden vacancies as a result of promotions, resignations, transfers or layoffs. Though willing to take on these challenges, these nurses are nevertheless inadequately prepared. “Nurse leaders are ill-equipped in terms of knowledge and may lack support and guidance to manage the challenges inherent in the role, such as productivity, job satisfaction, and retention concerns” (Vitale, 2018, p. 8). This negatively impacts not only the nurses, but the entire organization who must then cope with less effective management.

The need for prepared nurse leaders and managers is growing. The aging of the baby boomer population, a group largely in place as nurse managers, executives and administrators, necessitates the development of future nurse leaders ready to tackle the role of leadership once that group retires (Vitale, 2018). Changes in information technology, medical devices, patient demographics, and care reimbursements calls for strategic thinking nurse leaders to manage transitions within their respective settings (Fennimore & Wolf, 2011). Legislation and threats of litigation prompts the delivery of quality care, and it is important for nurses to take an active role in developing and implementing policies that ensure the highest quality care processes (Montavlo & Veenema, 2015). Finally, the cost to an organization resulting from nurse leadership vacancies, including the recruitment, hiring and training of outside managers have not just a financial impact, but may negatively affect work culture and productivity as well (Ramseur, Fuchs, Edwards & Humphreys, 2018).

Millennial nurses are willing to embrace the challenge of leadership, provided they are given adequate support (Bittner, 2019). Transitioning these emerging leaders through a structured nurse management succession training program using mentorship support from senior leaders is an effective way to ensure adequate preparation. After partaking in such preparation, novice leaders have been shown to have higher job satisfaction, improved leader competence, higher perceived self-confidence, and higher retention rates than those who did not.

Date of publication

Spring 4-26-2020

Document Type

MSN Capstone Project



Persistent identifier



Masters in Nursing Administration