A study of nurses in management within the NHS in Scotland 1994-1995
This descriptive study examines the role of nurses in management within the NHS
in Scotland between 1994-1995. The general aim of the study was to provide
information about the emerging role of nurses in management in the NHS after the
Reforms in 1990.
Data collection tools were a postal questionnaire to all subjects (N=284) and later
interviews with 27 participants. The Questionnaire was carried out between MayJuly
1994. Overall response rate was 64.4%. The interviews were conducted in
February and March 1995. All nurses in management working in hospitals and the
community, in Scotland, with the exception of those meeting exclusion criteria,
were invited to participate in the study.
In this study the men were slightly younger than the females and the men were
more likely to be married than the females. There were 44 different job titles used
by the 158 respondents. Approximately one in four of subjects had a degree. In
total 76 (48%) respondents had had a formal "management training" qualification
but only 10% had degree level management education. Almost all the subjects
stated that their job had changed greatly after the NHS 1990 reforms and their
responsibilities had increased. In total 68 respondents perceived the role of nurses
in management negatively. In terms of future career developments of the subjects
17% expected their next career step to be a more into general management role
within the NHS.
The study provides lessons which will be of value in planning the selection and
training of future nurse managers. In this study it was suggested that nurses in
management should undertake proper management training that would meet their
individual needs. In addition first line managers in particular should be supported
and encouraged to take up roles in general management. It was suggested that
individuals should take more responsibility for shaping their own careers and the
NHS should provide support for their staff. It was also believed that this study
provides a benchmark where there is little information.