From licensed nurses to CNAs to the activity director, the members of a team in long term care need effective leadership to ensure a facility runs smoothly. And that is why SNF management is crucial to achieving successful outcomes.
As a resident’s primary advocate, nursing home administrators serve as the resident’s point of contact between nurses and physicians. Nursing home administrators communicate instructions and outcomes as needed from both parties while also ensuring that nurses and physicians visit residents on a regular basis.
Additionally, nursing home administrators also help with the business and organizational tasks of this long term care facility. They employ the use of an effective nursing home software to ensure that the facility’s top priorities of safety and quality of care are maintained.
- Implementing facility-wide policy
- Overseeing quality assurance protocols
- Interfacing with residents, families, and staff
- Coordinating between care and organizational departments
- Updating processes to comply with state and federal regulations
- Representing the facility in professional and community activities
- Interpreting resident needs and collaborating with families
Leadership Styles for Nursing Home Management
For successful nursing home management, administrators should implement tried and tested SNF management styles. While there are many leadership styles a nursing home administrator can adopt, the most important thing is to find a style that is most suitable for you and your SNF. SNF leadership styles are grouped into the following:
1. Transactional leadership
Transactional leadership is a type of leadership that focuses on the leader-follower relationship. When this is implemented in SNF management, the leader sets expectations and provides rewards or punishments as needed. The rewards (monetary compensation, t-shirts, medals, gift cards, etc.) act as a form of motivation for employees to encourage performance and quality standards.
This type of SNF management works best when there is a clear chain of command and well-defined roles and responsibilities.
2. Transformative/transformational leadership
Transformative/transformational leadership is a type of SNF management that focuses on the leader’s ability to motivate and inspire employees. When this style is implemented, the nursing home administrator sets a vision for the SNF and motivates employees to work towards these common care goals that can be tracked using care plan software.
This leadership style works best when there is a need for change in the SNF and employee participation plays an essential role in the success of that change. Transformative leaders are able to rally employees around a common cause and help them see the SNFs goals as their own.
3. The Bonoma–Slevin leadership model
The Bonoma–Slevin leadership model combines aspects of transactional and transformational leadership. This model examines the amount of input that SNF management receives from nurses and other staff as well as how much leaders act on staff suggestions. Some leeway is accounted for, allowing leaders to select the best employee ideas while rejecting others based on their own knowledge. As a result, leaders can gain valuable insight from their employees to provide more person-centered care based on the real-time conditions on the floor.
Under the Bonoma–Slevin leadership model, leaders are categorized into four styles:
- The consensus manager: The consensus manager is a type of SNF leader that relies heavily on input from nurses and other staff members. This leader encourages feedback, suggestions, and opinions from employees. They also encourage “team-decision making” to make the facility’s culture more inclusive. However, several schools of thought discourage this method of management because of concern that a single person can derail the whole decision-making process by pushing their own interests.
- The consultative autocrat: The consultative autocrat is a type of SNF leader that takes suggestions and opinions from employees but ultimately does not allow them to make the final decision. The consultative autocrat is often seen as the most effective type of SNF leader, as they can make quick and informed decisions while filtering out bad suggestions by using their expertise.
- The shareholder manager: A shareholder manager does not participate in decision-making or set expectations for workers. Instead, he or she delegates tasks and encourages a high level of employee independence.
- The autocrat: The autocrat is a type of SNF leader that makes all decisions without any form of input from employees. This leader does not solicit suggestions or opinions from employees and does not allow team decision-making. The autocratic leadership style is often seen as the least effective because it dissuades employees from feeling involved in SNF management. It also limits employee independence and can foster resentment in the nursing home work environment.
The most important thing for nursing home administrators to remember is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to SNF management styles. The best way to determine which style will work best in your SNF is to consider the needs of your employees and the culture of your nursing home.
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How To Boost Your Nursing Administration Certification
So what kind of nursing administration certification does one interested in SNF management need? Aside from earning a college degree, nursing home administrators can also meet several qualifications to improve their credentials and increase their marketability on the job market. Nursing home administrator certifications are required for competencies that lead to managerial roles in the healthcare sector.
Below are five certifications that nursing administrators can look into:
- Nurse Executive Certification (NE-BC): The Nurse Executive Certification is offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center to assess the abilities and knowledge of an RN when working in a managerial capacity. It also evaluates how well the candidate can manage an entire unit. The test has 175 questions and must be completed within 3.5 hours. Applicants must have a current nursing license, a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and at least two years of work experience in an upper-level nursing capacity, such as teaching or as a nursing manager. The certification is maintained by receiving 30 hours of continuing education in the last three years.
- Nurse Executive, Advanced Certification (NEA-BC): The ANNC also offers the Nurse Executive Advanced Certification, which is an exam for nursing executives who have already earned the Nurse Executive Certificate. Unless the applicant has a master’s degree in nursing administration, they must undergo 30 hours of continued education within the last three years, a master’s degree, a valid RN license, and must have a minimum of two years of working experience as a nursing administrator in the past five years.
- Informatics Nursing Certification (RN-BC): The ANNC’s Informatics Nursing Certification is a 175-question computerized exam that assesses the knowledge and skills of nursing informatics as a nursing administrator. To be eligible for this certification, the candidate must have a valid registered nursing license with a bachelor’s degree in nursing and at least two years of experience as an RN.
- Certified in Executive Nursing Practice (CENP): The Certified in Executive Nursing Practice certification is offered by the American Organization for Nurse Leadership. You can obtain this certificate if you have a valid nursing license as a registered nurse and at least two years of working experience as a nurse leader with a master’s degree. Alternatively, if you have a bachelor’s degree, you need to have four years of experience before seeking this credential.
- Certified Nurse Manager and Leader (CNML): The Certified Nurse Manager and Leader credential from the American Organization for Nurse Leadership is available to a registered nurse who has a license to practice and has completed the required amount of working experience as a nursing manager. The number of hours needed depends on the degree level obtained by the nurse.
It is worth noting that nursing home administrators are highly educated experts who ensure long term care facilities function efficiently in terms of time and money. In regards to SNF Management services provided by administrators, they include the management of human and financial resources as well as overseeing the work of the nursing staff and physicians.
Through the use of a long term care software system, administrators can greatly improve nursing home management processes. Tools like a nursing home administrator daily checklist and KPI dashboards help streamline their workflow and ensure nothing is missed.
Importance of SNF Management
When it comes to SNF management, it is the nursing home administrator’s role to ensure that a long term care facility is efficient and effective while providing quality care at a reasonable cost. In order to do this, administrators use long term care software systems that provide them with nursing home administrator daily checklists and KPI dashboards. These tools help leaders manage human and financial resources and oversee the work of nursing staff and physicians.
For administrators looking to develop their SNF management skills, certifications such as the Nurse Executive Certification (NE-BC) and the Certified Nurse Manager and Leader (CNML) can help boost their knowledge and their career prospects. Finally, by applying effective leadership styles such as being a consultative autocrat, SNF management can ensure they get helpful information from employees and act on it to make a final decision.