Assessing a healthcare organization that delivers services to the public.
Select a healthcare organization in your area for this assessment. The organization must deliver healthcare services to the public. The organization may be any size, but it must have organizational complexity, including:
• Interdisciplinary staff (e.g., physicians, advanced practice nurses, physicians assistants, nurses, social workers, psychiatrists, physical therapists)
• Multiple departments (e.g., nursing, support services, ancillary services)
• Multiple layers of leadership (e.g., administrative staff, department directors, supervisors)
There is a broad range of organization types that are appropriate for this assignment, including, but not limited to:
• Hospitals/Medical centers
• Long-term acute care facilities (LTACs)
• Home care or hospice organizations
• Ambulatory surgery centers
• Public health departments
This may exclude educational institutions such as universities and community colleges, because these organizations may not provide healthcare services to the public). This also may exclude private practices, urgent care clinics, \”minute clinics\” in retail settings, and elementary schools with a school nurse on staff, because these organizations may lack the degree of organizational complexity required for the assignment.
Lastly, the organization that you choose must provide the public with the types of information described in the “Preparing for the Interview” section below.
Selecting a Nurse Leader
After researching the organization, please choose a nurse leader from within the organization to interview. Your nurse leader should be a change agent in the organization. The nurse leader you interview does not need to have an advanced nursing practice degree. However, your chosen interviewee should have a formal leadership role in the organization.
When selecting your nurse leader, consider the ways in which the nurse leader is actively involved in enacting change in the organization. Please also review the questions in the “Interview Questions” section to understand what topics your interview should cover.
The following list includes examples of nurse leaders to interview. The list is not intended to be exhaustive; your nurse leader may have a different role than is listed below. If you are unsure whether your chosen nurse leader meets the requirements, or if you have any difficulty finding a nurse leader to interview, please contact your assigned course mentor.
• Chief nurse executive
• Clinical nurse specialist
• Nurse practitioner
• Nursing unit director
• Nursing department manager
• Nurse supervisor
• Nurse project manager
• Nurse case manager
• Nursing team lead or committee chair
• Nurse educator
• Nurse researcher
• Nurse navigator
• Public health nurse
Preparing for the Interview
Determine if the organization has a website and review the information that the organization makes available to the public. Familiarize yourself with the organization\’s mission statement, organizational chart, list of departments, and other information, such as public quality data. Consider the following as potential sources of public information for your research:
• Public website
o Organizational mission and vision statements
o Organizational values
o Organizational statistics (e.g., number of employees, number of patients, demographics)
o Annual goals and reports
o Marketing materials
• Published organizational performance documents
o HCAHPS reports
o County health rankings*
• Comparisons to other healthcare organizations in the area**
• Press (e.g., newspapers, Internet articles)
• Conversations or additional interviews with stakeholders (employees and patients)
* Access the “Rankings” tab of the County Health Rankings website to gain a better understanding of what affects health in your community and where an advance nurse leader might need to focus improvement efforts: http://www.
** Visit the Medicare Compare website to compare the organization you have chosen with others in the area: http://www.medicare.gov/forms-
Scheduling the Interview
Contact your chosen nurse leader well in advance of your interview. Below is a suggested email template that you can use. You may also choose to adapt this template into a phone script.
I am a master\’s degree student at Western Governors University. My current course explores the role of nurse leaders in advancing organizational change or innovations to improve quality care outcomes. One of our assignments is to interview a nurse leader about his or her role, the organization, and quality improvement activities. I would like to meet you in person for a 45–60 minute interview. Please let me know when you might be available and if you have any questions.
You may share the list of interview questions ahead of time to help the nurse leader prepare for the interview. If your nurse leader offers to send you written responses to the interview questions ahead of your interview, you may accept, but you must still meet in person for the interview. If your nurse leader declines to meet in person, you must find an alternate nurse leader to interview.
If you have exhausted all options to schedule a face-to-face interview and cannot find an alternate nurse leader to interview, please contact your assigned course mentor.
Additionally, you are encouraged to do the following for the interview:
• Dress in business attire.
• Arrive early for your appointment.
• Respond to all communications in a prompt and professional manner.
• Follow up within one week with a handwritten thank-you note (or an email, if a mailing address is not available).
Note: Be sure to manage the interview to keep within the allotted time frame while covering all of the topics listed below.
1. What is your role and its scope within the organization?
2. What organizational goals do you support in your role?
3. Who are the stakeholders that you serve on your job (both internal and external)?
4. What are you responsible for delivering and to whom?
5. What is the mission of your organization? Is this published and available to staff and the public?
6. How does the organization operationalize its mission?
7. How does the mission statement guide or direct organization polices, leader interactions and roles, and day-to-day operations?
8. Identify one strength of your organization.
9. Identify one weakness of your organization.
10. What are the major opportunities for improvement facing your organization?
11. What systems have been put in place to support patient safety (e.g., electronic health records, employee education and development programs, barcode scanning, handoff reports)?
Evidence-Based Practice and Quality Improvement Activities
12. To what extent does your role participate in quality improvement efforts?
13. In what ways does your organization incorporate evidence-based practice into care delivery systems?
14. Does your organization educate staff about National Patient Safety Goals? If so, explain what these efforts entail.
Consultative Change Proposal Outline
Your 7–10 page paper should be written according to APA style guidelines and structured as follows:
a. Purpose of consultation
b. Overview of the consultation process
II. Organizational Analysis
a. Description of organization
Include as much of the following information as is available to you:
• Type and location of organization
• Number of employees and patient encounters (approximate)
• Departmental map, organizational chart, or leadership structure
• Service area (e.g., size, age, demographics)
• Services provided
b. Primary needs of population served by this organization
Consider: What are the primary health risks impacting the community (e.g., smoking, drug addiction, communicable disease, homelessness, poverty)?
III. Nurse Leader Interview Summary
a. Nurse leader role
Consider: How does role align with role defined in The Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing? Also consider the domains of influence or actual authority the nurse leader has in the organization.
b. Characteristics of organization
• Evidence-based practice activities
• Quality improvement projects
IV. Recommendation for Organization Change
Consider: How does the change address the organization\’s weaknesses? How does it address the community\’s needs?
c. Measurement of effectiveness
Consider: Identify a national benchmark of performance and describe a clear plan to measure the effectiveness of your proposed change over time.