Leadership Strategies for Nursing Excellence

June 17, 2017

The triple aim of healthcare is patient satisfaction, quality outcomes, and decreased costs. Navigation is the key to effective care delivery, said Regina Cunningham, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, chief executive officer of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, during the Endnote Session at the Oncology Nurse Advisor Navigation Summit (http://media.oncologynurseadvisor.com/documents/304/oncology_navigation_summit_pre_75823.pdf).

Bridging silos helps people emerge and connect, and diverse perspectives bring strength to the healthcare team. Cunningham also advised recognizing patterns, connecting the dots, and creating alignment.

She said that emotional intelligence is an integral part of providing care and includes self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. Cunningham also noted that mindfulness is an important quality that keeps people in the present moment, increases sensitivity to context and perspective, and serves as the essence of engagement. Research has demonstrated that when people are mindful, productivity and innovation increase, output is superior, perception of trustworthiness and authenticity is increased, and it can advance opportunities. She said that to be mindful, you must train your brain to focus and center yourself by breathing and avoiding distractions.

She then discussed the need for stakeholder collaboration. “Cultivate and then hard wire partnerships,” she said. Communication is complicated. “Communicate systematically . . . develop a formal communication plan, capitalize on every opportunity, [and] bring people back to the center,” said Cunningham.

She concluded with a message: Pay it forward. Sharing your knowledge through mentoring is important and correlated with career advancement, salary increases, promotions, increased satisfaction, and decreased professional alienation.

Referring to the Institute of Medicine report on the future of nursing, Cunningham said, “The transformation of healthcare requires nursing leadership at every level. Nurses must exhibit leadership and high-level collaboration at every level in the system and in every way that affects advancing the potential for contemporary high-quality patient care.” She noted that facilitating, coordinating, collaborating, communicating, and integrating are all key actions to drive quality and patient satisfaction. Cunningham said that nurses have an opportunity to continue to drive positive public perceptions about the profession.

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