chapter  4
18 Pages

Management Theory

ByMarie C. Hill

The role of the Registered Nurse (RN) and the Allied Healthcare Practitioner (HCP) has changed significantly in the United Kingdom (UK) since the 1990s. For example, RNs, whether in the acute or primary care setting have seen their roles and responsibilities dramatically change more so as a consequence of a change in service provision from the acute to primary care sector. This has lead to an increase in services within primary care and with this a need to examine who provides these services. This has led to new opportunities for RNs to take on roles previously within the domain of a general practitioner (GP). Practice Nurses (PNs) have risen to this challenge and the new General Medical Services (new GMS) contract has led to an increase in the numbers of PNs making them the largest branch of primary care nurses (Macdougald et al., 2001). This role evolvement includes some PNs acquiring advanced skills in assessment, diagnosis and prescribing, whilst others have developed entrepreneurial skills and have become practice partners with their GP colleagues (Derrett and Burke, 2006). Furthermore, RNs in the acute sector have taken on these roles as well as leading on services such as the role of the nurse consultant; again a change in roles once seen as traditionally medically dominated. The introduction of the European Working Time Directive in 1998 initially excluded junior doctors with respect to specifying minimum requirements for working hours and annual leave requirements (Goodling, 2009). However, since 2004 junior doctors are not excluded and it can be argued that this Directive has and will have a significant impact on how new roles are developed for nurses; particularly as the maximum weekly working hours have been reduced to 48 hours as of August 2009 (Goodling, 2009). It can be argued that these changes not only promote the nursing profession, but highlight the career opportunities and different pathways and choices that are now available for RNs. However, newly formed nursing teams with diverse responsibilities bring with them challenges for the advanced practitioner who manages these teams. The aim of this chapter is to explore management in terms of definition and theories of management including their influence on today’s organisations.