Amplify Your Voice as a Nurse Leader: 10 Tips from a Moxie Nurse Mentor 

Amplify Your Voice as a Nurse Leader: 10 Tips from a Moxie Nurse Mentor 

Written by Anne Llewellyn, MS, BHSA, RN, CCM, CRRN, CMGT-BC, CM Fellow

Nurses, despite being viewed as the backbone of the healthcare system, often refer to themselves as “just a nurse”. But, the truth is every nurse is a leader.

This article covers 10 ways to use your voice to demonstrate your leadership and value. 

  1. Get involved! Ask to be a committee member or part of a quality management project. Nurses have great ideas on improving processes within their organization but do not take the steps to volunteer to be part of the solution.

  2. Be active in your professional organization - it can take your career to the next level! The American Nurses Association (ANA) is a professional organization with regional and state associations. Find out about your state organization and join. Call them or visit their website to learn when they meet and let them know you are interested in getting involved. If you are in a specialty area like critical care, emergency department, or case management, professional organizations specific to those areas exist, with opportunities to get involved. As a new nurse case manager, I joined the South Florida Case Management Network. I volunteered to help on the education committee where we put together continuing education programs for our local chapter. That step was the best thing I could do for my career as it opened many doors and gave me purpose. I became an active member and rose through the ranks to President of my local, state, and national levels.

  3. Mentor a new nurse. Mentoring is a way to stay engaged with your team. Helping a new nurse learn the ropes and feel comfortable and safe will go a long way toward building morale and decreasing turnover. 

  4. Go back to school. There are tuition reimbursement programs that can help finance your education. Many employers pay something toward tuition, so start with your employer to see what they will contribute and, if needed, look to outside organizations. If you don't have your bachelor's degree, think about going back to school. If you do have your bachelor's degree, consider returning for your master's degree. Continuous learning will keep you updated on trends and give you the confidence to do your job.

  5. Move on up! Check to see if your organization has a career ladder. This is an excellent way to plan your professional growth.

  6. Explore new areas. If you have been in your role for some time, think about what new areas you would like to explore. There are so many avenues you can visit as you gain experience. Start internally and then branch out to see what opportunities exist as you explore your next steps.

  7. Read (and write for!) professional publications. Nurses are natural storytellers and have information to share. Sharing a story about a situation you were in and how you worked through the system is always welcomed by editors of professional publications. Case in point? This article you're reading right now, written just for Moxie Scrubs.

  8. Think about getting a certification. Certification allows you to show your expertise in your field of practice. The American Nursing Credentialing Center (ANCC) is the certification arm of the American Nurses Association and offers many certificates for nurses. Check out which one might be right for you.

  9. Go outside traditional nursing. Nursing prepares you for many fields. Go to community events if you want to look outside of traditional nursing. Many nurses like to get involved in their children's schools. As a nurse, you are an expert, and you can contribute information that can improve processes. Think about COVID and how having nurses in our communities to educate and empower employers and everyday people could have helped as the pandemic rolled across our country. Look for governmental boards that might be open in your community who work on projects that you feel passionate about. 

  10. Share compliments. When you get a compliment from a patient, their family, a doctor, or a colleague, share it with your manager. Make sure it goes in your file and is noted on your evaluation. Many nurses take compliments for granted as you were just doing your job. Make sure you are recognized for the work you do. Not everyone wearing a nursing uniform goes the extra mile!

Thank you for the work that you do every day! It is appreciated! I hope these tips help you learn how you can amplify your voice.

Resources:

American Nurses Credentialing Center: Click here to learn about the various certifications that are open to Nurses https://www.nursingworld.org/our-certifications

American Nurses Association (ANA): Learn about ANA and the value of membership https://www.nursingworld.org/membership.

Financing Nursing Education: Johnson and Johnson is a longtime supporter of nursing education. Check their site to see what they offer those who want to return to school https://nursing.jnj.com/financial-aid.

Career Ladders: Learn about how a career ladder can help you move forward in your career. https://online.maryville.edu/online-bachelors-degrees/rn-to-bsn/careers/nursing-career-ladder

Nursing: Moving Beyond the Bedside: There are no Limits: https://anne-llewellyn.s3.amazonaws.com/Nurses%2C+Moving+Beyond+the+Bedside.pdf

My Untold Story of Becoming a Nurse: Going the Extra Mile: Every nurse should read a good book. https://www.amazon.com/Going-Extra-Mile-Untold-Becoming/dp/B08CPB4XJ7

The Daisy Foundation: The Daisy Foundation was set up to recognize nurses' work for patients and families. Make sure your organization has posters of how people can nominate you for a Daisy Award! Here is the link to learn more. https://www.daisyfoundation.org

About the Author

Anne is a registered nurse with over forty-three years of experience in critical care, risk management, case management, patient advocacy, healthcare education including training and development. Anne speaks and writes frequently on topics for consumers, caregivers, and all members of the healthcare team so together we can improve each person’s healthcare experience. Follow her in her weekly Blog, Nurses Advocate where she shares stories and events that will help all be better prepared when they navigate the healthcare system. Here is the link to the website. https://nursesadvocates.com and her email; anne@nursesadvocate.com 

 


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