NURS 6201:The 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:The 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.


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