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Think About It
A forum for discussion of the latest news and ideas in nursing management and healthcare.
Friday, May 27, 2016

I’ve been bombarded with images of graduations at all levels over this past weekend. It made think about all of those fresh minds graduating from nursing school this month. They’ll be out there excited and ready to start professional roles in nursing. The new graduate nurse will be of various age ranges and background experiences; some entering healthcare for the first time ever, some changing their healthcare focus and position. What matters next is whose team they join and how that team manages their introduction into our workforce. The first year (to 3 years) is huge in forming how they’ll function, where they’ll work, and how they embrace this next stage of professional development. Investing in the growth and development of our new nurses is vital to their success and our own. These individuals will be the future of nursing--our future caregivers, advocates, and successors. How does your organization assist this transition? How do you do with new graduates? What mark and influence do you make on their personal and professional growth? Was your new graduate experience a positive or negative one? Let’s hear from you!

Lisa Lockhart, MHA, MSN, RN, NE-BC
Nurse Manager, Specialty Clinics
Alvin C. York VA Medical Center
Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Friday, May 27, 2016
Memorial Day weekend is here! The kids are out of school, the pools are open, and summer vacations begin. Maybe you have big plans for the weekend, or maybe your plans are about working in an ED or even an urgent care center. For those of you who are working, your concern is all about safety and the expectation of an increased number of summer activity injuries. Falls, near drowning, insect bites, ATV injuries, and the list goes on. I ask that no matter what your plans may be, take a moment to remember our veterans.

This weekend is a time to honor those who’ve served and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Be cognizant that for many veterans and their families, this weekend is an emotional one. If you’re working, you may see an increased number of patients with PTSD exacerbation, suicidal ideations, or severe emotional distress. There will be ceremonies and honorariums held across the country, and these events may be hard on some. And please don’t forget that some of your coworkers also served and should be honored as well.

We wish you a safe holiday weekend!

Lisa Lockhart, MHA, MSN, RN, NE-BC
Nurse Manager, Specialty Clinics
Alvin C. York VA Medical Center
Murfreesboro, Tenn.


Monday, May 2, 2016

Nurses Week starts May 6. I hope you find time to celebrate with each other at your workplace and through your professional organizations.

“Culture of Safety: It Starts With You.” Think about what that means to you and your peers. What role do you have as a professional in the creation of a safe environment and a just culture? The two go hand-in-hand when we strive to create an environment that’s safe for providers and patients.

Take advantage of the educational offerings available to you this week. And take the opportunity to enjoy our Nurses Week Special feature "Give the Gift of Feedback" at www.NursingManagement.com, which offers tips to hone your skills in not only giving constructive feedback, but also receiving it. Remember why you became a nurse leader and look at where you are now and where you want to go in your career.

Happy Nurses Week everyone and thank you for all you do!

Lisa Lockhart, MHA, MSN, RN, NE-BC
Nurse Manager, Specialty Clinics
Alvin C. York VA Medical Center
Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Friday, April 15, 2016
I had a very engaging conversation with a group of peers this past week. The topic was salary and whether it’s a measure of success. Depending on whom you ask, the measure of professional success varies. Some will eagerly speak of promotion and financial gain, whereas others will talk of meaning in their work and personal fulfillment. It seems that the beauty of nursing as a profession is that it enables the licensed professional to experience and explore so many different avenues. Additionally, your goals and aspirations will change as you grow and develop as a professional.

What’s your measure of success? After 30 years in nursing and many years in management, I’m rethinking some of my goals and attempting to balance where I am with where I want to be. I’m asking myself: What’s my passion? What can I live with and what can’t I live without? What’s my personal definition of success? When was the last time you had this conversation with yourself and evaluated your personal and professional goals? Is where you’re at where your passion lies? Or is it what you think you must do because you’ve invested so much of your career into this path? It’s so important on so many levels to take the time for self-talk and self-evaluation. Go ahead and have this conversation with yourself!

Lisa Lockhart, MHA, MSN, RN, NE-BC
Nurse Manager, Specialty Clinics
Alvin C. York VA Medical Center
Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

This week I’ve been researching employee satisfaction. The literature supports the idea that high job satisfaction is directly related to frontline managers’ relationships with staff members. As a manager myself, I know that some of my peers will disagree with this theory. I’m mixed in my view. I agree that the frontline manager “sets the tone.” He or she is the main link between point-of-care staff and upper-level decision makers – the “voice” on both sides of the chain. Managers are the cheerleaders, supporters, enforcers, and trackers. However, my peers are correct that managers are only as good as the executive team allows them to be. This means that much of what’s said and done is delegated from above and the frontline manager is caught in the middle. But I remain convinced that this isn’t as impactful as managers’ investment in their teams.

Lisa Lockhart, MHA, MSN, RN, NE-BC
Nurse Manager, Specialty Clinics
Alvin C. York VA Medical Center
Murfreesboro, Tenn.
About the Author

Nursing Management
“Think About It” is an extension of Nursing Management. Here, you can read and discuss professional information geared toward helping nurses excel as leaders. This blog tackles important topics without the worry of print publication deadlines!