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Are You a Leader?

Elwell, Sean MSN, RN, EMT; Krichten, Amy E. BSN, RN, CEN; Mattocks, Sarah MSN, RN, FNP-C

doi: 10.1097/JTN.0000000000000160

Sean Elwell, MSN, RN, EMT, is STN Board of Directors Leadership Committee Liaison; Amy E. Krichten, BSN, RN, CEN, is Leadership Committee Co-Chair; Sarah Mattocks, MSN, RN, FNP-C, is Leadership Committee Co-Chair.

Correspondence: Sean M. Elwell, MSN, RN, EMT, Emergency Department, Alfred I duPont Hospital for Children, 1600 Rockland Rd, Wilmington, DE 19803 (

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Leadership is a topic that is hot.... We find ourselves often questioning what leadership really means and how to be an effective and efficient leader. With many different learning styles, personalities, communication styles, and levels of motivation, how can we possibly meet the expectations?

The Society of Trauma Nurses (STN) is committed to advocating for the highest level of quality trauma care across the continuum. The Leadership Committee was created to provide the necessary resources to empower trauma leaders from all levels. The STN recognizes just how important leadership development is and has incorporated these initiatives into our strategic plan.

The Leadership Committee's first project was creating the Leadership Institute. The Leadership Institute is designed and intended to equip trauma leaders with the tools needed to effectively lead from the bedside to the boardroom and beyond through Web-based learning modules. This 10-week course provides the knowledge, skills, and tools necessary to enhance the implementation of the numerous and varied roles of the trauma leader. Valuable information is shared while networking online with fellow leaders from across our nation. We have now completed 2 leadership institutes and are into our third session. While these programs have been successful, we are continuing to look for innovative ways to expand the Leadership Institute.

Integrating leadership education in multiple formats remains a key priority. As part of the 2015 annual STN conference, the Leadership Committee offered a Leadership Pre-Conference. This workshop covered 5 topics that are common to the trauma leader in the acute care setting. This workshop was applicable for leaders of different levels from novice to expert. The speakers covered strategic planning, meeting management, role of the Trauma Program Manager, using data to influence change, and budgeting. Planning for a Leadership Pre-Conference in Anaheim, California, for 2016 is already underway. The Leadership Committee is dedicated to providing additional learning opportunities in the future.

We are equally excited to share our plans for our next leadership endeavor. Coming in 2016, the Leadership Fellow program will assist an upcoming leader with fostering relationships with key trauma professionals in organizations such as STN, Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma, and Trauma Center Association of America. In addition, this program will assist in further developing leadership skills through exposure to different organizational activities. The fellow will gain a better understanding of the STN and how to get involved with the organization. Planned activities include attending STN Board meetings, participating in the STN Annual Conference, and active involvement in STN committees during his or her yearlong commitment. The Leadership Fellow will also have the unique opportunity to complete a shadowing experience at STN Headquarters to understand inner workings of the organization. In addition to completing all of these experiences, the Leadership Fellow will complete assigned projects and complete leadership assessments pre- and postexperiences to show how he or she has grown and areas of needed growth. The fellow will end his or her commitment by writing a Journal of Trauma Nursing editorial about his or her yearlong experience as the STN Leadership Fellow in conjunction with a Leadership Committee member.

Being a leader doesn't mean you need to be a part of one of the aforementioned programs. Choose from many other opportunities within the STN that may interest you. Getting involved is one of the best ways to continue to grow as a trauma leader. After all, trauma care wouldn't be where it is today without your involvement.

Copyright © 2015 by the Society of Trauma Nurses.