“Lead without Limits,” was the resounding theme of the 10th annual nursing leadership conference sponsored by the Institute for Nursing, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System.
Speaking to about 200 nurse leaders from the systems facilities a day after the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act, Maureen White, RN, MBA, NEA-BC, senior vice president, CNE, North Shore-LIJ, said, “Knowing that healthcare will change more rapidly than ever before, we can accept and embrace the great opportunities, new possibilities and many challenges that lie ahead of us.” The conference took place June 29 at the Swan Club in Roslyn, N.Y.
Challenging participants to think about reshaping nursings future, Jeanette Ives Erickson, RN, DNP, FAAN, senior vice president, patient care services and chief nurse, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, and Jeffrey Adams, RN, PhD, nurse scientist, MGH, presented the Adams influence model and the interrelationship of leadership, environments and outcomes in leadership practice.
“As we examined our patient journey framework, we became convinced that we could enhance the quality of care and find ways to reduce costs, and that patients would choose to come to us,” Ives Erickson said. To improve care processes from preadmission to postdischarge, Ives Erickson and staff have created a number of patient-centered initiatives, including relationship-based care, interdisciplinary team rounds, white boards for family use, a phone system where staff can text one another and the new role of the attending nurse on innovative units.
Catalysts for change
Under the new role launched in March, the attending RN focuses on ensuring continuity and progression of care from admission to discharge and post-discharge. “They manage quality of care and the environment and advance nursing practice, and I believe it will have huge implications on quality and affordability of care,” Ives Erickson said.
As a result, MGH has decreased lengths of stay by more than 3% and improved Hospital Consumer Assessment of Health Plans Survey across the board, Ives Erickson said.
Attending RNs are experienced RNs trained through the education center and in retreats on conflict management, resiliency, care coordination and role development, and educated in measuring length of stay and other patient care outcomes. The positions came from the MGHs nursing staff, and innovative units decided how many attending RNs they needed.
In speaking about servant leadership from her experiences as CNO and CEO at facilities throughout the country, Deborah Yancer, RN, MSN, executive coach and healthcare consultant, Yancer Consulting, said the servant leader does not control or give answers but instead “disturbs individuals to action,” is first among equals and uses a collaborative model with capable peers. “When considering a complex organization in times of chaotic change, there may be multiple leaders, and the primary role rotates depending on work-need basis, expertise, relationships and influence,” Yancer said. She emphasized emotional intelligence, engagement and serving the common interest as key elements.
After presentation of the play, “Bedside Manners,” author and editor Suzanne Gordon engaged the audience in discussions and replays of scenarios to improve communication and care outcomes. Ten of the actors were nurses from the audience, and two were actors from New York City. “Nurses dont give themselves enough credit for what they do, nor do they let others know what a critical role they play in healthcare,” Gordon said. “Its about time that the world understands and realizes the real value of you.”
Janice Petrella Lynch, RN, MSN, is a regional nurse executive.