I believe that until nurse leaders find their voice in—
helping nurses gain fulfillment in their work in our current healthcare system—
all the current confusion, frustration and aloneness that nurses and nurse leaders feel will continue to mount.
It’s in our deep authentic connections where nurses find meaning and fulfillment in caring.
These practices are hard to sustain in our current work environments. … For all the reasons we know too well.
We know that the nurse leader’s role in leading authentic caring in organizations is not well defined . More on this.
Yet, my experience is that most nurses soldier on trying to capture those illusive authentic connections with patients while doing their nursing jobs … Until they don’t. We can’t expect nurses to do this alone. We must create simple organic solutions that work for nurse leaders and support nurses — or continue to lose them through disengagement, attrition, etc.
I believe …
Nurse leaders can help nurses find fulfillment in nursing in simple and doable ways by tapping into nurse’s existing caring capacity.
- It does not require a lot of nurse leader time
- It does not require a lot of learning
- It does require connecting with nurses about what he/she feels and believes about caring experiences
If we don’t, we will continue in our current cycle of increasing …
- Nurse Burnout, Caring Fatigue, Moral Distress
- Nurse and Nurse Leader Job Dissatisfaction, Job Turnover, Attrition
- Nurse Disengagement
- Nurse Leader Despair, Feelings of Failure
From my own leadership experience, I accept …
… that the weight and elements of our organizational responsibilities are not going to change, but I also know as a nurse leader, that what we think and talk about can change.
It was my personal experience and my career learnings that awakened me to the reality that how I live and work, what I focus on, and what I talk about as an individual impacts the lives of those around me everyday.
This reality is true for all leaders, and especially true for the 400,000 nurse leaders
whose nurse followers are 3 million strong in the US.
I believe …
- We cannot expect nurses to successfully juggle rising clinical demands and authentically connect with patients routinely without leaders’ direct support
- This direct leader support = routine, authentic connections… that impact nurses in meaningful ways
Nurse leaders in organizations can help nurses realize the positive impact of their work by acknowledging and exploring individual nurse’s caring practices … in simple meaningful conversations—however momentary.
First Solution: Nurse leaders can learn to craft their own style of …
- How to talk so nurses will hear you
- How to listen so nurses will talk about meaning in their work and feel heard
Details coming soon in my book,
GETTING REAL ABOUT CARING
What I Discovered As A Nurse Leader