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PESI HealthCare
Stringing Pearls: A Collection of Gems from Nursing Leaders

Stringing Pearls: A Collection of Gems from Nursing Leaders

by Leslie Furlow


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This compilation by 21 of the nation's nurse leaders is a one-of-a-kind collection of wisdom and experience. It is designed to not only assist new and upcoming nurse leaders, but to serve as interesting reading for experienced ones as well. Each chapter is a sharing of unique, 'not taught in nursing schools' experiences that will serve the nurse leader well. A must-have addition to the library of any nurse who is in a leadership position or who wants to become involved in a leadership position in the future.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780979021862
Publisher: PESI HealthCare
Publication date: 07/28/2008
Edition description: PESI HEALTHCARE
Pages: 262
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Leslie Furlow began her nursing career as a nursing assistant. She later finished an LVN program and then earned her AA degree as a Registered Nurse. To get into the ED, she became an EMT. At that point, she decided that nursing would be her life's purpose and finished a BSN two years later. After serving in different administrative positions, Dr. Furlow entered consulting. AchieveMentors, Inc., which she founded, provides a variety of operational, management and process consulting to hospitals nationally.

Dr. Furlow has a Doctorate in Management, as well as Master's degrees in Public Health and in Nursing. She has served, and continues to serve, as adjunct faculty for several colleges and universities teaching management, leadership and technical skills. She is certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner, Professional Behavioral Analyst, Facilitator, and in Total Quality Management.

Her interest in mentoring the next generation of nursing leaders lead her to receive Board Certification in Leadership from the Society for the Advancement of Consulting in 2006. Furthermore, that interest began her partnership with Dr. Sharon Judkins to create HardinessMentors, LLC, a research-based development process that increases personal hardiness in middle managers and shows proven decreases in stress response and unplanned absences. The results of their research received international attention, with presentation in Australia, Austria, England and Scotland and in numerous publications in such countries as Canada and Great Britain. Hardy leaders display increased job satisfaction, retention of quality staff and productivity, thus insuring their success and the future of nursing.

Contributing Authors: 21 of the nation's nursing leaders

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 5

Section 1: Diving into Deep Water

The Power of Apology in Nursing Leadership

by Donna Hart Reck, MSN, RN, NE-BC and David Gage, PhD

The Intial Plan
The nurses were angry about the nurse manager and the letters, but they were also angry about not being heard, believed, or trusted and the many downstream consequences of having been disciplined (e.g., poor evaluations and smaller pay increases). Following the initial round of interviews, we formulated three short-term goals to address the situation that had consumed the ED, and two longer-term goals to help ensure that the circumstances would not repeat themselves in the ED or anywhere in the medical center:

1. Continue developing trusting relationships with all of the parties,
2. Understand as clearly as possible what actually happened and create a shared reality about it,
3. Develop a strategy for repairing the ruptured relationships and rebuilding trusting, effective, working relationships,
4. Assist the CNO in establishing an effective leadership structure within the ED, and
5. Redesign the leadership and communication structure in the Department of Nursing to ensure that the CNO would always be informed of potentially serious problems in the department.

To begin, we suggested a series of nine one-on-one mediations between the disciplined nurses and Donna. We recommended that she hear for herself what they had to say. I (David) would conduct all of the mediations to provide continuity. We heard in the initial interviews that it was enormously reassuring to the nurses that the CNO cared enough about them to hire outside professional mediators "all the way from Washington." The size and obvious cost of the effort gave them hope that she was actually on their side and that something could change for the better. They knew that she hadn't given up on them. In return, it seemed they hadn't given up on her.

If Lisa's story was inaccurate - if her behavior was self-serving or selfprotective, or vindictive - then a lot of work would have to be done to correct the wrongs that had been meted out to the disciplined nurses. The wrongs had been memorialized in the letters of discipline and the letters themselves would become the beginning focal point for the mediations.

Seven of the nine disciplined nurses had met with us for interviews and now agreed to meet with Donna. Two had refused to meet with any of the mediators and they were likewise unwilling to meet with her. Some of the nurses told me they would only agree to meet with the CNO if they could have a union rep with them. From my perspective, that wasn't ideal, but I agreed. Some wanted to meet with the CNO in a group, but I turned down that request. I had already explained to all of the parties that, as the mediator, I would be in charge of the process and, as participants, they would be in control of the outcome. Regarding individual versus group meetings, my belief was that group meetings would diminish the probability that the participants would let down their guards enough to really hear one another and be genuine. If there was to be any hope of real, deep understanding, genuine apology for wrongdoings, and forgiveness and reconciliation, it would be in one-on-one meetings. I also believed the nurses would be willing to meet one at a time if I assured them nothing untoward would happen. So, I explained that we needed to go with individual meetings, but I would meet with them privately before the meetings to coach them, and would be present during the meetings to help them say what they wanted to say. I reiterated my pledge, based on Donna's assurances, that there would be no repercussions for anything they would say. Ultimately, all seven of them agreed to the one-on-one meetings.

On the eve of the meetings, anxiety was running high. The fallout from the battle between the manager and the disciplined nurses was extensive and continuing. In addition to the issue of the letters, Lisa and the director had resigned, one nurse had been terminated and rehired, a dozen nurses had voluntarily transferred out, other nurses had received bad evaluations (and correspondingly smaller increases in pay) and there was constant talk of more people leaving the unit. Everyone knew that the future was uncertain. It was not the best environment for a meeting with your CNO!

I (David) couldn't help sharing that nervous feeling, but I was confident that this was the correct next step. The nurses had important things to say and, given the circumstances, there wasn't a better or more appropriate person to hear those comments than the CNO. I felt sure from my discussions with Donna that she would be open and sympathetic to their concerns and know how to respond. She wanted to know why they were angry with her, but I wouldn't tell her. She had to hear it first from them.

A couple things had to occur in order for the meetings to be successful. First, the nurses had to be genuinely heard by the person ultimately responsible for the department - the CNO. They had originally bypassed the CNO and gone directly to the CEO of the medical center. That had not been an effective strategy, because they had failed to talk directly to the CNO. They had assumed she already knew what was happening. Second, we had to clear up any wrongdoing, including the letters and other inappropriate disciplinary consequences, both intended and unintended.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Section 1: Diving into Deep Water 3
Chapter 1: You've Got to Get Wet - 1st Steps 5
Chapter 2: Braving the Deep, Entrepreneurship 13
Chapter 3: It's Very Deep - We're on the Evening News 27
Chapter 4: There are Rules Out Here - Joint Commission 49
Chapter 5: The Power of Apology in Nursing Leadership 67
Section 2: Pearls on the String 103
Chapter 6: Different Pearls - Different Strands (Gender) 105
Chapter 7: Baroque Pearls - When Teams Become Gangs 115
Chapter 8: Lining up the Pearls - From Behind Closed Doors to the C-Suite 123
Chapter 9: Selecting the Best - Creating a Vision for Nursing 133
Chapter 10: A Pearl Tie Tack 149
Chapter 11: Polishing the Pearls 163
Chapter 12: The Pearl in the Center 173
Chapter 13: The Same String - An Entire Career at One Place 181
Section 3: Restringing - Pearls Worth Using Again 191
Chapter 14: A Broken String: My Position is Gone! 193
Chapter 15: Valuable Assest: We are Being Sold 205
Chapter 16: Diamond Mining: Adding Sparkle to the String 215
Chapter 17: Add a Pearl Necklace: Four Pearls on a Chain 223
Chapter 18: Same Pearls, Different Look 237
Section 4: Closing 253
Chapter 19: The Clasp - From Beginning to End 255

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