Category Archives: Leadership development

Mar 12 2014

Quotable Quotes About Nursing, March 2014

This is part of the March 2014 issue of Sharing Nursing’s Knowledge.

“There has been tremendous growth in the nurse-managed health clinics, especially prior to the Affordable Care Act implementation, but certainly also now. I would go as far [as] to say that we won’t have a successful implementation of the Affordable Care Act if we don’t utilize nurse practitioners in primary care roles.”
--Tine Hansen-Turton, MGA, JD, CEO, National Nursing Centers Consortium, Nurse-Led Clinics: No Doctors Required, Marketplace Healthcare, March 5, 2014

“A lack of representative educators may send a signal to potential students that nursing does not value diversity. Students looking for academic role models to encourage and enrich their learning are often frustrated in their attempts to find mentors and a community of support. Clearly, we have a mandate to support and encourage nurses from minority groups in their quest to seek advanced degrees and to assume leadership roles in nursing education.”
--Jane Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN, president, American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Diversity in Nursing Education, Advance for Nurses, February 26, 2014

“The question for every nurse and every hospital board is how you go about promoting transformational change in which the emphasis is not on transitory, isolated performance improvements by individuals, but on sustained, assimilated, comprehensive change of the whole ... this report offers one answer: nurse leaders knowledgeable about how information technology can help redesign practices so that they are standardized, evidence-based and clinically integrated, and reinforce the values of a caring culture.”
--Angela Barron McBride, PhD, RN, FAAN, author of The Growth and Development of Nurse Leaders, TIGER Releases Study Aimed at Enhancing Nursing Informatics Education, Advanced Healthcare Network for Nurses, February 24, 2014

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Mar 7 2014

Listen First, Lead from Behind

One of the country’s most powerful women,  Robert Wood Johnson Foundation President and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA, calls that the best advice she ever received in a recent “Influencer” post on LinkedIn. The advice, Lavizzo-Mourey writes, came from Nelson Mandela.


One of her teachers and mentors, the legendary Samuel P. Martin III, MD, taught her “the Mandela axiom.”

“Decades later,” Lavizzo-Mourey writes on LinkedIn, “it is a lesson that I continue to draw from every day.”

Lavizzo-Mourey’s post is part of a series in which LinkedIn Influencers share the best advice they’ve ever received. Read all the posts in the series here.

Read all of Lavizzo-Mourey’s LinkedIn Influencer posts here.

Dec 23 2013

A Lesson in Leadership—Inspiration Ignites Motivation

Cheryl L. Woods Giscombé, PhD, RN, PMHNP, is an assistant professor in the School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar. Her research focuses on stress-related health behaviors, psychoneuroendocrine biomarkers, and sociocultural contextual factors that contribute to health disparities in African Americans.

file Woods Giscombé and Wakefield

On a cold, yet hopeful early spring day in Washington, D.C.,  my life as I knew it was about to change.  A world of possibilities—of seemingly unlimited potential—opened up for me as never before . . . This was the day that I met Mary Wakefield, PhD, RN, a true nursing trailblazer.

The moment that I met her for the first time, I knew that I wanted to learn more. My immediate impression was that she was a dynamo—intelligent, spunky, energetic, warm, engaging, and confident. As I listened to her presentation during a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation leadership seminar, my job as a Nurse Faculty Scholar was to better understand the essentials of exceptional leadership. My goal was to become more familiar with the professional and personal characteristics that facilitate effective changes in health policy, particularly for underserved individuals. She made those tasks amazingly easy, because she embodied the highest ideals of a leader—a nursing leader. I was more than inspired.  

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Nov 18 2013

Quotable Quotes About Nursing, November 2013

This is part of the November 2013 issue of Sharing Nursing's Knowledge.

“Being the best is not measured by the number of accolades, positions that you hold, or amount of wealth you accumulate. When you have reached a point on your leadership journey where you can be of assistance and influence a larger sphere of individuals, organizations and society, then you are on the path to being the best.”  
-- Linda Burnes Bolton, DrPH, RN, FAAN, chief nursing officer, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and trustee, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Accelerate Your Career in Nursing: A Guide to Professional Advancement and Recognition, 2013

“I worked closely with a nurse practitioner. We co-managed very complicated patients over many years. This colleague knew when someone needed to be seen to avoid an emergency room visit, to adjust an essential medication or just for reassurance. We trusted each other’s opinion and respected our own unique abilities. Being part of a team increased quality, reduced cost, and definitely improved the experience of our patients. I am sure many of my physician colleagues around the state have had similar experiences … The Green Mountain Care Board‘s inclusion of a highly qualified nurse is another indication of our commitment to respecting the abilities of all health care providers and fostering innovation.”
-- Allan Ramsay, MD, Green Mountain Care Board, Nursing in the Era of Vermont Health Care Reform,, October 29, 2013

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Oct 31 2013

The IOM Report: Accelerating Nursing Leadership in Health and Health Care

Rita K. Adeniran, DrNP, RN,CMAC, NEA-BC, is director of diversity and inclusion-global nurse ambassador at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellow (2012-2015).


It is exciting and humbling to witness and talk about the positive transformation that nursing has been experiencing since the release of the 2010 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on the future of nursing. The report emphasizes development of leadership programs that harness nurses’ capacity to lead change, and advance health and health care by creating innovative opportunities for education and professional growth. In addition to many other recommendations, the report calls for interdisciplinary collaboration and underscores the imperative for diversity of the nursing workforce to more appropriately reflect the diversity of the United States population.


More than ever before, nurses are recognized as key to leading successful and sustainable health care for the nation. Nurses are at the forefront of health and health care improvements, leading many quality initiatives. Comprehensive, cost-effective patient and family-centered models of care led by nurses are increasingly becoming popular.

With more nurses obtaining advanced degrees and practicing to the fullest extent of their education and skills, they are engaging side by side with members of interdisciplinary care teams to collaborate in clinical practice, and conduct research and enquiry that can provide solutions to some long-standing clinical problems.

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Oct 23 2013

Sharing Nursing’s Knowledge: The October 2013 Issue

Have you signed up to receive Sharing Nursing’s Knowledge? The monthly Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) e-newsletter will keep you up to date on the work of RWJF’s nursing programs, and the latest news, research, and trends relating to academic progression, leadership, and other critically important nursing issues. These are some of the stories in the October issue:

Three Years Later, Institute of Medicine Report is Fueling Innovations in Nursing Practice and Education
Three years after its release , the Future of Nursing report has become a motivational tool that is transforming nursing and improving health care across the country. Read about some of the national accomplishments and achievements of the state Action Coalitions, which are working to advance nurse education, remove barriers to practice, cultivate more nurse leaders, diversify the profession, collect better data about the nursing workforce, promote interprofessional collaboration and education, and more.

Waging War Against Drug-Resistant Bacteria
RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholar Jason Farley has traveled far on the path he set out on as a young university student, and the world is taking notice of his groundbreaking work to treat patients with HIV. His research focuses on the spread of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) and other antibiotic resistant organisms among HIV patients. MRSA poses a major threat to patients with compromised immune systems, and is increasingly placing financial burdens on health care facilities.

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Oct 22 2013

More Physicians, Nurses Leading Hospitals

Doctors, nurses, and other health professionals are increasingly taking on top leadership positions at hospitals, Fierce Healthcare reports, likely because of the changing health care delivery system.

The trend is taking root in several states. In Texas, Baylor All Saints is headed by a former surgeon. The president of Texas Health Harris Methodist Fort Worth is a former intensive care unit nurse, and her immediate superior who oversees operations for 12 regional hospitals is a physician, the Forth-Worth Star-Telegram reports.

Presence Saint Francis Hospital and Presence Saint Joseph Hospital in Illinois announced this month that a physician and board-certified specialist in infectious diseases would take over as president and CEO, according to Fierce Healthcare. Portsmouth Regional Hospital in New Hampshire is run by a registered nurse, Foster's Daily Democrat reports.

Among the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) scholars in top leadership positions at hospitals is RWJF Executive Nurse Fellow Kim Moore, RN, MSN, FACHE, the president of Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Oct 17 2013

Nurses on Boards: Diversity of Leadership is Critical to Transforming the Health Care System

Alexia Green, RN, PhD, FAAN, professor and dean emeritus, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and co-leader of the Texas Action Coalition. She is an alumna of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellows program.


As a nurse, I have long desired to be a full partner with physicians and other health care leaders in improving health care delivery in our country.  The truth is many nurses have this desire, but all too often we are not viewed as key players in the larger policy arena.  When the Institute of Medicine Future of Nursing report was issued in 2010, I was very excited to see a major emphasis placed on nurses become full partners in redesigning health care in the United States. 


I personally became intrigued with impacting health care policy while a graduate student at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in Houston—where my professor, Dorothy Otto, encouraged me to become engaged, providing me with a vision that policy was something I could shape and develop rather than passively watch.  My engagement with the Texas Nurses Association and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellows program helped solidify my leadership skills to be well prepared to actively serve on boards where policy decisions are made in hopes of improving health systems to advance patient care.

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Oct 14 2013

Leading in a Collaborative Environment: A Top 10 List for Getting There

Susan B. Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN, is senior adviser for nursing at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and director of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action. Three years ago, the Institute of Medicine issued Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, which supports “efforts to cultivate and promote leaders within the nursing profession—from the front lines of care to the boardroom.” The goal, the report says, is that nurses be full partners, with physicians and other health professionals, in redesigning health care in the United States.


The only way to achieve a healthier future for everyone in this country is to work collaboratively toward that goal. Leading in a collaborative environment takes very special skills. To find effective leaders, we must consider the skills, talents, and experience of everyone who aspires to leadership, regardless of their profession.


In fact, there is no evidence pointing to a single profession as having all requisite leadership skills to get our population to a healthier state. It is truly about the skills, talents, and experience of the whole team, and everyone on the team should be considered a potential leader.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health states that all professions should be equal partners in leading health and health care efforts in this country to assure access, affordability, quality, and a healthier future for all. The IOM committee members who shaped that report made extremely thoughtful recommendations on leadership.

Below, I add my own take, based on experience, about what it takes to lead in a collaborative environment.

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Oct 10 2013

Executive Nurse Fellows Leading the Way to Implement the Institute of Medicine’s Nursing Recommendations

Victoria Niederhauser, DrPH, RN, PNP-BC, is dean and professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville College of Nursing, an alumna of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Executive Nurse Fellows program, and a director of the program’s Alumni Association.


One of the greatest impacts the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) report on the future of nursing has had is to provide a national actionable platform for RWJF Executive Nurse Fellow (ENF) alumni to put into action their collective leadership skills and attributes to improve health and health care across the nation.


The RWJF Executive Nurse Fellow alumni are 221 individuals strong and together they use skills in strategic agility, leading change, effective communication, creativity, and risk-taking to create sustainable models of Action Coalitions throughout the country. Through these Action Coalitions, the future of nursing is changing!

For example, in one year, the Tennessee Action Coalition was established with a diverse board of directors led, in part, by two RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows: Debra Honey (2008) and Victoria Niederhauser (2008). And we have already seen a significant impact on our community as a result of the Action Coalition. Specifically, from 2011 to 2012, enrollment in RN to BSN programs in Tennessee increased 20 percent (from 1,375 to 1,635) and the number of RN to BSN graduates rose 30 percent (from 499 to 680). One key recommendation from the IOM report is that more nurses get BSN or higher degrees.

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