Planning for a smooth transition: evaluation of a succession planning program for prospective nurse unit managers
The current and projected nurse workforce shortage has created significant pressure on health care organizations to examine their approach to managing talent. This includes the need for strategic development of new formal leaders. This article reports on a succession planning program for prospective nursing unit managers. Eight prospective management candidates participated in a Future Nursing Unit Managers program. The effectiveness of the program was measured through a comparison of pre- and postprogram surveys relating to participants' perception of personal managerial and leadership skills. Significant differences in scores from baseline to 6-month follow-up surveys were observed in the participants' confidence in undertaking the nursing unit manager role and in their management skills. Investment in structured programs to prepare nurses for leadership roles is strongly recommended as a management workforce strategy.