Robin's Nest President's Column - Leadership Challenge

  • Posted on: 9 September 2019
  • By: AMSN

I’ve been very blessed in my professional career due, in large part, to the mentors and coaches I’ve had along the way. During my initial training and then later as an academic colleague, faculty members Sandra Gottschalk, Beryl Dinges and Michele Unrein provided encouragement and guidance, accepting no less than the very best I could do. Each of these leaders instilled a love of the nursing profession in me and sparked my interest in nursing leadership.

After graduating, my first job was on the surgical unit of a local hospital. The unit director was Wilma Ross, a nurse who was always willing to provide nursing care when an extra hand was needed. She taught me that nurses earn respect of healthcare colleagues by professionalism in practice, a willingness to learn, and through excellence in care delivery. She taught me the importance of leading by example.

I’ve had other excellent coaches along my professional journey, too many to list here. But each of them taught me something unique regarding leadership. As a leader of AMSN, I want to continue to encourage others in their role as a nurse leader.

I have dedicated many years of my professional career to the professional development of new nurses. As a member of AMSN’s board of directors, I also feel a responsibility for the development of future leaders. One of the ways AMSN is doing this is through our student program. Not only do students receive free membership in AMSN, but we are also working to develop a program which will assist the nurse in their progression from student, to nurse, to nurse leader including certification as a medical-surgical nurse.

AMSN also supports leadership development of our members through participation in the Nursing Alliance Leadership Academy (NALA). Over the past several years, board members have attended NALA to network with other nursing organization leaders and to further develop the skills necessary to lead AMSN. In the future, I look forward to sending volunteer leaders who are interested in board positions to this event.

AMSN’s leadership believes that it is vital to identify and foster the next generation of leaders through training, coaching, mentoring and providing opportunities for volunteer leaders to develop leadership skills. One of the initiatives announced at the recent International Council of Nurses Congress was a challenge to employers and professional organizations to provide leadership opportunities and training to nurses under the age of 35. Another is the Nurses on Boards Coalition, of which AMSN is a member, which focuses on increasing the presence of nurses on corporate, health-related, and other boards in order to improve population health. I look forward to implementing programs in the coming months to meet each of these goals.

I would like to challenge each of you to consider your own leadership goals and skills. If you are interested in developing further as a leader, please drop me a line or visit with me at the national convention held later this month. I look forward to it!