Hospital Operations Administrators Role Change to All RNs
Michelle A. Quigley, MS, RN, CNML
Senior executives at Rush University Medical Center (RUMC) noted opportunities to evaluate the Administrator-On-Call (AOC) role in order to enhance medical center operations beyond the functions performed by the traditional AOC, usually a business administrator with ability to multitask.
The skill set previously required was no longer enough to efficiently handle situations arising during the off-shifts. The AOC was now required to possess a stronger clinical background coupled with operational experience, including the following factors:
- thinking independently
- making quick decisions
- interpreting policy
- providing oversight throughout the organization regarding rising consumer demands and trends in healthcare
In 2015, the AOC role was changed and the first RN Hospital Operations Administrator (HOA) was hired. The HOAs hold a master’s degree in nursing, have three years in a management position, hold a nursing certification, have taken required Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) courses, and possess skills in crisis management, problem solving, and conflict resolution. Additionally, they are educated in the Pro-Act program in order to gain new skills related to handling difficult patient and family situations.
HOAs are consulted to conduct a Behavioral Action Response (BART) and initiate calls for emergency management. Purposeful rounding was instrumental in establishing leadership visibility, identifying process improvements, and supporting and developing staff. There are currently eight HOAs, with one offer pending, who cover days, evening, and night shifts seven days a week.
Role models for demonstrating transformational leadership, HOAs influence the affairs of the Rush system and enable staff nurses to utilize their education and experiences to the fullest extent. The HOAs are active members of several committees, including the Nursing Quality Improvement Committee, Emergency Management Committee, Safe Campus Committee, and Nursing Operations Council, and are present at Charge Nurse Workshops.
In November 2018, the HOA team members had a manuscript accepted by the Journal of Nursing Administration (JONA) for publication in the April 2019 Vol 49 No 4, titled “Transitioning a Non-Clinical House Administrator to a Nurse-Led Hospital Operations Role.” Authors of the article include Michelle A. Quigley, MS, RN, CNML, Amber Martin, MSN, MHA, RN-BC, CVRN, Shonda Morrow, JD, MS, RN, CENP, Esperanza Magat-Domingo, MSN, RN, SCRN, Constance Shay-Hadley, MSN, RN, NE-BC, and Aaron Franklin, MSN, RN, CMSRN.
Members of the Hospital Operations Administrator team