Nurse manager succession planning: A cost–benefit analysis

Academic Article


  • Aim: This commentary presents a cost–benefit analysis to advocate for the use of succession planning to mitigate the problems ensuing from nurse manager turnover. Background: An estimated 75% of nurse managers will leave the workforce by 2020. Many benefits are associated with proactively identifying and developing internal candidates. Fewer than 7% of health care organisations have implemented formal leadership succession planning programmes. Evaluation: A cost–benefit analysis of a formal succession-planning programme from one hospital illustrates the benefits of the programme in their organisation and can be replicated easily. Key Issues: Assumptions of nursing manager succession planning cost–benefit analysis are identified and discussed. The succession planning exemplar demonstrates the integration of cost–benefit analysis principles. Conclusion: Comparing the costs of a formal nurse manager succession planning strategy with the status quo results in a positive cost–benefit ratio. Implications for Nursing Management: The implementation of a formal nurse manager succession planning programme effectively reduces replacement costs and time to transition into the new role. This programme provides an internal pipeline of future leaders who will be more successful than external candidates. Using an actual cost–benefit analysis equips nurse managers with valuable evidence depicting succession planning as a viable business strategy.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Phillips T; Evans JL; Tooley S; Shirey MR
  • Start Page

  • 238
  • End Page

  • 243
  • Volume

  • 26
  • Issue

  • 2