NURS 6201: Complexity Science and Chaos Theory

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NURS 6201 Week 2: Complexity Science and Chaos Theory essay assignment

NURS 6201: Leadership in Nursing and Healthcare | Week 2 essay assignment

“In the midst of order, there is chaos; but in the midst of chaos, there is order” (Gribbon, 2004, p. 76).

Health care settings are dynamic environments and it is important to fully understand the intricate nature of these organizations. As a leader–manager, your actions have the potential to influence this type of environment and inspire change throughout. What do you need to know to leverage this potential effectively?

NURS 6201: Complexity Science and Chaos Theory essay assignment 

In Week 1, you examined characteristics and driving forces that affect various settings and some models for strategic planning to manage them effectively. Building on that, this week you examine complexity science and chaos theory as a means of furthering your understanding of influences on health care organizations. In light of the complex nature of health care and uncontrollability of certain events, how do nurses in various roles manage the circumstances for the best possible outcomes?

Lindberg, C., Nash, S., & Lindberg, C. (2008). On the edge: Nursing in the age of complexity. Washington, DC: PlexusPress.
Gribbon, J. (2004). Deep simplicity. Chaos, complexity and the emergence of life. London: Penguin.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Apply complexity science and chaos theory in health care
  • Appraise a challenge in a health care organization

Through this week’s Learning Resources, you have been exploring complexity science and chaos theory. For nurses who strive to offer impactful leadership and effective management, how could this information be applied to produce better outcomes?

For this Discussion, you address the relevance of complexity science and chaos theory to a specific situation in an organization.

To Prepare

  • Review the information in the Learning Resources, including Learning Exercise 8.8 in the textbook. How would you apply insights related to complexity science and chaos theory to this scenario? Consider the implications for a nurse executive, nurse manager, charge nurse, and an informal team leader.
  • Bring to mind a related example from your organization or one with which you are familiar.
  • As you think about these examples, consider the relevance of complexity science and chaos theory to the organization and, specifically, for nurses in various roles who have differing responsibilities (e.g., a nurse executive versus a unit–level manager).

By Day 3

Post a description of the relevance of complexity science and chaos theory to a specific situation in your organization or one with which you are familiar. Explain how you would use this knowledge base to be most effective in various nursing leadership and management roles (e.g., as a nurse executive, unit–level manager, charge nurse, team leader).

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 6

Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days using one or more of the following approaches:

  • Ask a probing question, substantiated with additional background information, evidence or research.
  • Share an insight from having read your colleagues’ postings, synthesizing the information to provide new perspectives.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience and additional research.
  • Make a suggestion based on additional evidence drawn from readings or after synthesizing multiple postings.

Assignment: Strategic Plan for Change essay assignment

“Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement. If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it.”

—H. James Harrington

Effective nurse managers recognize the innumerable challenges in contemporary health care organizations—and, they pursue solutions.

As you continue to progress professionally, you will likely discover many opportunities for improvement in your own workplace. For instance, you may notice issues with the performance appraisal system, operational planning, staffing, or patient classification system. Clinical problems such as hourly rounds, medication errors, fall risks, or any other problem you observed are also prime for needing change. As a leader/manager you can contribute toward addressing these challenges to produce positive results and create sustainable change through a structured process of strategic planning.

For this Assignment, you explore one challenge that you would like to see addressed in your organization or one with which you are familiar. You will continue to work on this Assignment over the next several weeks. This Assignment also serves as your Portfolio Assignment.

To Prepare

  • Read the full Assignment instructions in the Strategic Plan for Change—Overview document, located below.
  • Identify a problem that you would like to investigate for this Assignment.

Document: Strategic Plan for Change—Overview (PDF)

By Day 7

Place your selected topic on the designated Strategic Plan for Change Topic forum.

Your Instructor will approve your selected problem or provide feedback to help you refine your focus for this Assignment.

While this portion of the Assignment is not graded, it is required.

By Day 7 of Week 8

The completed Portfolio Assignment is due.