The future looks bright
I found the article “Leading Into the Future” by Toby Bressler, MPA, RN, OCN, and Margaret Fisher, MS, RN, in the November issue to be spot on. It truly hit a personal cord with me and inspired me to respond. I've been a nurse leader for over 6 years and as the byproduct of the sink or swim nurse manager generation, I applaud you for bringing this matter to the forefront. I, too, want our future leaders to experience a less stressful and more meaningful transition into their new role.
I agree that organizations need to develop a comprehensive management orientation structure for nurse managers. Mentors are a great resource for new managers, but without a plan of defined objectives for the relationship, the dividend may be little more than a good friendship. I'm not saying I oppose organizations growing their own leaders—this is the route by which I obtained my current position as director—I just believe the nurse manager deserves more direction. A comprehensive leadership program that combines didactics with mentoring and hands-on training will produce skilled and tenured leaders.
Articles of this nature may inspire organizations to take on the responsibility of developing a structured leadership training program for our future nurse leaders.
Embracing emotional intelligence
I wanted to write to express how much I enjoyed reading the article, “Leading Change With Emotional Intelligence” by Anne Foltin, MA, RN, NE-BC, and Ronald Keller, MPA, BSN, RN, CCRN, NE-BC, in the November issue. As a nurse manager of a 33-bed telemetry unit, I can appreciate the topic of change and the influences of emotional intelligence. The sensitive nature of leading staff through change is a challenge that nurse managers face on a frequent basis. I felt that the benefits of emotional intelligence in relationship to change were thoroughly explained and very enlightening.
Transitioning to a new unit was inevitable and could have caused staff members great unrest without their input. However, the decision by management to allow time for the transition by notifying staff months in advance, and then allowing suggestions and decisions on how the new unit was developed, must have assisted them in the success of this transition. The top-down approach of change often leaves individuals at the bottom unhappy, but if there's to be a more bottom-up approach, both sides will have to accept new roles. Therefore, both management and staff members must assume new roles and accept different concepts of how change should be implemented. I do wonder how using this model of change affected the length of time necessary for the full implementation to occur.
Overall, this article was very enlightening and inspiring to read. I would like to see change in our profession implemented more consistently in this manner. So often change comes down the pipeline from various sources with the demand of instant implementation, and with very little time to do so. In my opinion, the challenge to modify our paradigm of thought about change should be embraced. Thank you for such an informative article.
Donna J. Robinson, BSN, RN
Rebecca Walker, BSN, RN