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Analysis

3 Takes on Honing Nurse Management Teams

By Jennifer Thew RN  
   May 23, 2017

Teresa Fisher, RN,

COO and CNO, Lakewood Health System

Staples, MN

Like many organizations, we've found that some of your greatest nurses are promoted to managers and, while they're great clinicians and great nurses, they don't always have the tools to be successful nurse managers. We did implement a couple of different things [to address that].

One is our VIP program. All nurse leaders and nurse managers new to management are assigned a VIP, so for one year they are mentored with either a director or one of our executives. We have a requirement that all our executives mentor two to three new managers every year. We've done a lot of investing in how to have the right conversation, the right timing of that conversation, as well as just investing in them as leaders.

The second thing we did was bring in a company called GiANT to work with our leaders. [Their program is] all about learning about who you are, how you handle stress, and developing as a leader. We did that about two years ago, and it's been very successful.

We are seeing a huge transformation in our culture and our nursing leaders are stepping up. They're not just seeing themselves as nurses, they're seeing themselves as leaders who have an obligation to our patients to manage every situation even if it's tough.

We also noticed many of our nursing leaders had never had formal training when it came to budget and budget process. We have a whole online option for our nurses focusing on the budget—how to manage your budget, how to put in capital requests, etc. There are classes they can take and some are required when they come into the role.

Jennifer Thew, RN, is the senior nursing editor at HealthLeaders.

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