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Swot Analysis: Nurse Leader Succession Planning


Change Theory: this SWOT analysis will use Kurt Lewin’s Change Management Model as the change theory to unpack the problem in the organization and bring about change to improve its outcomes. Lewin’s Change Management Model is often considered a simple and easy-to-understand approach to managing change. It usually entails three steps which include unfreezing, changing and refreezing. According to Lewin, the process of change consists of developing a perception a change is required, then proceeding toward the new, desired level of behaviour and eventually consolidating that new behaviour as a norm (Sheikh, 2021). the unfreezing stage takes place before the implementation of a change. This stage mainly entails creating an awareness of the way the current level of acceptability is limiting the organization. Ways of thinking, processes, old behaviours, and organizational structures should be comprehensively assessed to show employees how critical a change is needed to maintain a competitive advantage. The change phase is also known as the transition stage. The execution of the change symbolizes this stage. It is a step marked with fear and uncertainty; thus, people start to learn new behaviours, processes, and ways of thinking. Support, education and communication are vital for employees as they familiarize themselves with change. The last stage is refreezing, which marks the act of reinforcing, stabilizing and consolidating the new behaviour resulting from the change. It is the stage where changes made to the organization, including structure and goals, are welcomed and refrozen as the new norm. According to Lewin, this step is crucial as it ensures that people do not return to their forgotten old ways of thinking before the execution of change.

Description Of the Issue/Problem

The issue to be analyzed is the organization’s need for nurse leader succession planning. Recently, there needs to be a formal process to identify and train future nurse leaders. This may contribute to a leadership vacuum and hamper the organization’s capability to maintain continuity, drive innovation and enhance growth.

SWOT Analysis: Strengths Od the Proposal For Change

Enhanced leadership pipeline. Nurse leadership succession planning will introduce a channel of qualified persons Who are well-equipped to accept leadership roles. This will entail recognizing and developing potential leaders within the organization. By actively acknowledging and developing individuals with leadership potential, the organization creates an ongoing pipeline of well-skilled candidates who can smoothly step into leadership roles when there are vacancies (Boyd, 2020). This will decrease the time related to searching for external candidates and enables a consistent transition, guaranteeing stability and continuity in leadership.

Improved employee development. Executing a succession planning program reveals the organization’s commitment to the growth and development of its employees. It offers clear career opportunities and paths for nurses to progress into leadership positions. Therefore, when the nurses view a well-structured pathway for development within the organization, they will feel more engaged and committed to their work which may result in improved job satisfaction and increased productivity (Labrague et al., 2021).

Transfer of knowledge. Nurse leader succession planning will allow the transfer of knowledge and skills from experienced leaders to potential leaders. Therefore, through job-shadowing opportunities, coaching and mentoring, experienced leaders can share their insights, transmit wisdom, and direct upcoming leaders in exploring complex situations. This will enable the organization to benefit from the experience of both past and present leaders, resulting in informed decision-making ad more efficient leadership.

Weaknesses Within the Context of The Organization

Resistance to change. Executing a nurse leader succession planning program may encounter opposition from current leaders in the organization. Some leaders may view succession planning as a menace to their positions (Turgut & Neuhaus, 2020). They may perceive recognizing and advancing potential successors may downplay their organizational status.

Unavailability of resources. Advancing and executing an extensive nurse leader succession planning program requires adequate time, financial resources, and staff. It may require setting aside funds for activities, including training, leadership development programs and mentoring. Furthermore, effort and time from human resource personnel and current leaders are needed to recognize possible successors, evaluate their readiness as well as develop designed development plans (Nyika, 2019). However, a lack of resources, such as shortages in staff and budget constraints, can cause challenges to the successful execution of the program.

Opportunities For Improved Outcomes

Continuity of leadership. Nurse leader succession planning warranties a smooth transition of leadership positions in the organization. Therefore, by identifying and developing possible successors, the organization can reduce disruptions that can occur when a leader retires. Leadership continuity assists in maintaining organizational stability and overcoming gaps in strategic planning and decision-making process (Phillips et al., 2017). Additionally, it builds confidence in the stakeholders, patients and staff since they can view a clear plan for leadership succession, thus maintaining trust in the organization.

Enhanced employee engagement. The nurse leader succession planning process offers opportunities and clear career paths for development within the organization. When nurses see a tailored program to recognize and advance future leaders, they are inspired to perform at the capacity and aspire to leadership positions. This positively influences the morale of the employee, overall job satisfaction and productivity, resulting in reduced turnover and increased retention rates.

Succession planning as a tool for recruitment. Prioritization of succession planning can help attract talented people who value opportunities for growth and development. Therefore, a comprehensive succession planning program creates a strong message for possible candidates that the organization is dedicated to advancing and enhancing internal talent. This will aid in attracting highly qualified personnel who are looking for long-term career opportunities (Oluwaseun Oduwusi, 2018). Thus, by improving the organization as an environment where individuals can develop meaningful careers ad progress into leadership roles, succession planning acts as a strategic recruitment tool, thereby increasing the opportunities for attracting top talents.

Threats To the Proposal

Lack of adequate succession candidates. The organization will likely encounter challenges recognizing appropriate candidates with the potential, relevant skills and competencies to take over leadership roles. This process needs extensive evaluation of potential successors and a comprehensive development plan to prepare them for future leadership roles. Nonetheless, there may be circumstances where the organization may need more individuals ready to step into significant leadership roles, which may lead to a shortage of talent within the organization (Phillips, 2020).

Lack of support from the organization. For the success of the execution or implementation of the nurse leader succession planning, there is a need for robust support from the stakeholders and top management. However, this threat may arise without dedication and commitment to the program (Badawy et al., 2016). This may also result in resistance and a struggle to obtain the required resources. Moreover, lacking support may lead to limited funding and inadequate time dedicated to succession planning activities.

Competitive external markets. The challenge of maintaining potential leaders within the organization may arise due to competition in the external job market. Successors with top talents may be attracted to external opportunities that provide lucrative compensation, a more desired work environment or career development prospects.

Therefore, using Lewin’s Change Management Model, the organization can efficiently unfreeze the existing practices and mindsets and refreeze the new approaches into the organization’s culture. Thus, this model focuses on the significance of preparing individuals for organizational change, which is critical in addressing resistance and guaranteeing the successful implementation of the proposed program or strategy.


Badawy, T. A. E., Alaadin, Y., & Magdy, M. M. (2016). Succession planning, job engagement and job satisfaction: the missing link. Middle East J. Of Management3(1), 1.

Boyd, M. (2020). Front-Line Nurse Manager Succession Planning: Building and Promoting Strong Nurse Leaders Through Implementing a Nurse Manager Development Program. Digital Commons @ Gardner-Webb University.


Nyika, M. M. (2019). Leadership succession planning in the healthcare system in the same district, Kilimanjaro region, Tanzania: exploring practices, barriers and facilitators.

Oluwaseun Oduwusi, O. (2018). Succession Planning as a Key to Effective Managerial Transition Process in Corporate Organizations. American Journal of Management Science and Engineering3(1), 1.

Phillips, L. K. (2020). Concept analysis: Succession planning. Nursing Forum.

Phillips, T., Evans, J. L., Tooley, S., & Shirey, M. R. (2017). Nurse manager succession planning: A cost-benefit analysis. Journal of Nursing Management26(2), 238–243.

Sheikh, S. (2021). Change Management Models: A Comparative Review. Change Management Models: A Comparative Review.

Turgut, S., & Neuhaus, A. E. (2020). The Relationship Between Dispositional Resistance to Change and Individual Career Management: A Matter of Occupational Self-Efficacy and Organizational Identification? Journal of Change Management, 1–18.


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