Accountability in Nursing

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Accountability in Nursing

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Accountability in Nursing: Six Strategies to Build and Maintain a Culture of Commitment

Eileen Dohmann, RN, BSN, MBA, NEA-BC

You’re six simple steps away from building a culture of accountability

Accountability is a hot topic in nursing and many nurse managers striving to improve their organizations ask themselves, “How can I get my staff to be accountable?”

It’s easy to become frustrated when your staff lack accountability and when they fail to do what is expected of them. And it’s often a struggle to bridge the gap between your staff’s performance and your expectations.

The HCPro book and CD-ROM Accountability in Nursing: Six Strategies to Build and Maintain a Culture of Commitment provide you with six easy-to-follow steps that will help you hold staff accountable for their behaviors and actions.

You will learn how to:

  • Set and hold staff to expectations for nursing behavior
  • Use active listening and assertive speaking
  • Recognize when people do not make a commitment
  • Change non-commitments to commitments
  • Engage staff to make commitments to participate in important initiatives

With Accountability in Nursing as your guide, you have the tools to hold your staff, your peers, your superiors—and even yourself—accountable for providing excellent patient care.  

Take a look at the table of contents:

Chapter 1: What is Accountability?
Chapter 2: Accountability Tools
Chapter 3: Personal Accountability
Chapter 4: Holding Staff Accountable
Chapter 5: Holding Peers Accountable
Chapter 6: Seeking Accountability With Your Manager or Supervisor
Chapter 7: Working with Physicians
Chapter 8: Promoting Accountability with the C-Suite

Bonus tools on CD-ROM

The included CD-ROM contains bonus tools such as an accountability pocket card. This quick reference tool contains the right language to use during difficult conversations and tips to hold others accountable.


Meet the author

Eileen L Dohmann, RN, BSN, MBA, NEA-BC, is Vice President of Nursing at Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg, VA, where she is responsible for nursing care and services, as well as operational oversight for MW Home Health and Hospice and Cancer Center of Virginia. With 25 years experience as a nurse, she is an advocate for the profession of nursing and excellence in nursing practice.

Learning objectives:

  • Differentiate between responsibility and accountability
  • Describe how accountability is demonstrated
  • Explain why accountability is important in the nursing profession
  • List the six steps in accountability 
  • Explain the six step process for holding oneself and others accountable
  • Identify your personal level of accountability
  • Examine your personal communication style
  • Describe how to use accountability language and behavior
  • Discuss how managers can set accountability expectations
  • Describe how to hold staff accountable in a variety of work settings and situations
  • Examine how to promote accountability among peers
  • Discuss conversation techniques for holding peers accountable
  • Assess the level of accountability of your manager or supervisor
  • Determine methods to promote accountability from your manager or supervisor
  • Examine accountability challenges nurses face with physicians
  • Determine how to define expectations 
  • Explain how to set commitments
  • List words to use when interacting with physicians
  • List effective words to use with c-suite members
  • Describe how to establish common group with c-suite members
  • Discuss how your communication style enables c-suite accountability

Faculty Disclosure Statement:

HCPro Inc. has confirmed that none of the faculty/presenters or contributors have any relevant financial relationships to disclose related to the content of this educational activity.

Continuing Education:

If you would like to find out about the availability of nursing contact hours on this or any other HCPro nursing book, please visit our Continuing Education information page, here.

Published: March 2009