Well returned from my vacation to a southern clime where it was warm, no snow, and the only ice was in a beverage on the rocks.
The eternal hope now that winter will retreat and we will be able to shed winter layers, catch natural Vitamin D, and venture out with family and friends without the fear of frostbite. Spring is about renewal and at this time of year there is an increased number of workshops and conferences to build on knowledge and an added bonus reconnect with colleagues and friends. One of the interest groups I am a member of is the NLN, the Nursing Leadership Network of Ontario, and the annual conference provides multiple sessions that one can acquire new knowledge, be reminded of tried and true approaches, and how all of us can refine our own leadership qualities.
This year the focus is on the learning we can gain by exploring, analyzing, and acknowledging the patient experience. We have moved from doing to patients to an increasing awareness of how can we help the patient based upon their unique needs, goals and aims, their values, and their dreams. Yes all of that and we need to balance those needs with the necessities of also being efficient, mindful of resources, applying evidence-based practices, and striving to be in the moment whenever nursing care is delivered at point of care. For the managers, directors, and executive members their roles involve strategic planning, identifying and managing resources, to also be role models of leadership, and in a formal sense inspire, support, and sustain emerging leaders.
The relationship between a mentor and a mentee tends to be an evolution, it maybe short-term i.e. a project or extend over an entire professional term. The cycle of being mentored also means cultivating the knowledge and skills and attitude to be a mentor. As guardians of the profession of nursing it is paramount we nurture the emerging leaders, to be generous with our time and knowledge, and to role model successes in the domains of practice and personal life.
Though the environment is filled with challenges, as leaders we need to learn the skills to navigate through the turbulent waters of constant change, funding constraints, heavy workload, the two C’s of complexity and chronicity in our patient populations. Team skills, however you wish to organize and prioritize the qualities, are a means to mediate the stress of being knowledge workers, physical laborers, emotional and/or spiritual counsellors, and prn redesign patient care. Learning constantly benefits our patients, our community and ensures registered nurses are perceived as relevant, and a vital component of our health care system. Check back soon and remember to participate in our poll. Namaste…
We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as unsolvable problems.
John W. Gardner