The roles and responsibilities of community hospital Chief Executive Nurses in rural Manitoba : a descriptive study

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Driedger, David Isaac
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The purpose of this exploratory and descriptive qualitative research study was to describe the work activities and behaviors of four hospital Chief Executive Nurses (CENs) in Manitoba. The findings in this study provide a profile of the roles and responsibilities of rural CENs within their organizational, geographical, and health care delivery contexts. Henry Mintzberg's (1973) conceptual framework of the nature of managerial work guided the study. This study made use of triangulated data: 1) preliminary data collection (organizational documents and a pre-observation interview); 2) continuous non-participant structured observation over a convenient three day work period; and, 3) a semi-structured exit interview. Content analysis provided a systematic process for analyzing the qualitative data obtained during the collection period. Findings from the study indicate that the rural CENs' daily work behavior is characterized by an involvement in a significant number of activities, each of short duration. Mintzberg's (1973) administrative description involving interpersonal, information and decisional roles was supported by the data. Two additional behavioral categories under a supportive cluster, namely clinical support and counseling, were also evident. The data suggested a cyclical nature to nurse executives' work. The ARIMA Time Series model, however, only marginally supported this concept. Implications for nursing practice, education and research are discussed in this research report.