Unless referenced otherwise, all data in quotes are excerpts from recorded nurse interviews related to the Getting Work Done issue. These data have not been published elsewhere. Excerpts related to the same topic, from multiple interviewees are separated by ellipses points.
Changing our lens: seeing the chaos of professional practice as complexity
Article first published online: 23 MAY 2013
© 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Journal of Nursing Management
Special Issue: This issue: International perspectives on retention, stress, burnout and new ways of improving Practice Issue editors: Kristiina Hyrkas and Jennifer L. Morton
Volume 21, Issue 4, pages 690–704, May 2013
How to Cite
2013) Journal of Nursing Management 21, 690–704 Changing our lens: seeing the chaos of professional practice as complexity, , , , , , , (
- Issue published online: 23 MAY 2013
- Article first published online: 23 MAY 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 7 FEB 2013
- complex adaptive systems;
- evidence-based management practice;
- multiple patient/simultaneity complexity;
- professional practice
The purpose of this evidence-based management practice project was to analyse dimensions of the Getting my Work Done issue, the only one of seven issues of highest concern for which 907 nurse interviewees were unable to identify effective strategies, formulate a ‘best management practice’, integrate the practice into clinical settings and evaluate results.
The evidence-based management practice process was used to identify the major impediment to Getting Work Done–assignment to multiple patients with simultaneous complex needs. Best management practice consisted of class presentation of a clinical-management problem scenario to 144 residents in nine Magnet hospitals, a private action commitment, class discussion and terminal action commitments.
Responses indicated that this ‘best management practice’ was effective in helping newly licensed registered nurses manage and handle multiple patients with simultaneous complex needs. A major avenue of resolution was perception of professional practice responsibilities as a series of complex, interrelated, adaptive systems.
Conclusions/implications for nursing management
Perception and use of the principles of complexity science assists newly licensed registered nurses in mastering management dilemmas that inhibit professional practice. In many participating hospitals, plans are underway to expand this best practice to include input and perception exchange among experienced nurses, managers and physicians.