Nurse Leadership Skills Made, Not Granted

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, April 2, 2013

As the healthcare industry continues to evolve and endure periods of upheaval, smart and savvy nurse leadership has never been more critical.

But as Judy Watland, R.N., MSN, Senior Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer/Nurse Executive at O'Connor Hospital in San Jose, CA, told me recently, it takes more than excellent clinical skills to rise to the role of today's nurse leader.

"Today's leaders have to be so much more than that," she told me. "We have to have new skill sets" including business proficiency, an understanding of financial principles, knowledge of productivity management, and the ability to give nursing a voice at the board table.

See Also: Time for Women to 'Lean In' to Healthcare Leadership Roles

Watland and her colleagues agree that healthcare organizations would be well-served by working with schools to help young nurses in training receive the kind of skills they'll need in a post-reform environment.

That's why it's exciting to see nursing schools taking nurse leadership so seriously with programs specifically designed to cultivate these skills in future leaders.


Alexandra Wilson Pecci

Alexandra Wilson Pecci is an editor for HealthLeaders Media.

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