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The crisis in leadership in the context of the nursing shortage and the increasing prevalence of nursing unions

Authors Balogh-Robinson LL

Received 19 May 2012

Accepted for publication 9 July 2012

Published 5 October 2012 Volume 2012:4 Pages 127—139

DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/JHL.S34024

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Latisha L Balogh-Robinson

Marist College, School of Global and Professional Programs, Poughkeepsie, NY, USA

Abstract: Developing nurse leaders in a unionized environment presents unique challenges that are beyond those traditionally experienced in nonunion settings. This literature review examines multiple factors contributing to increasing nursing union membership, including population aging, the nursing shortage, and the relationship between leadership and staff engagement. Current trends in succession planning and leadership development are also highlighted. Job dissatisfaction related to the inability to provide quality care in the context of a protracted nursing shortage and current health care trends is identified as the driver in nursing union growth. The discussion that follows assumes current trends in nursing unionization will continue and proposes that adversarial relationships between management and union nurses will further amplify the dearth in leadership by reducing the pool of nurses willing to leave the union for nonunion leadership roles.

Keywords: succession planning, baby boomer, staff engagement, population aging

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