May 21, 2024

This Is How I Went From Bedside Nursing To Executive Leadership

This Is How I Went From Bedside Nursing To Executive Leadership

Listen To The Podcast Episode

>>Listen to This Is How I Went From Bedside Nursing To Executive Leadership With Carol Simpson


Have you considered a path to being a Nursing Leader?  Most leadership positions require some form of higher education and formal leader development, but other “soft skills” are linked to effective leadership such as enthusiasm, strong communication skills, emotional intelligence, and interpersonal skills.  All of these skills can come naturally to you, but many can also be cultivated as you move through your leadership journey.  

Effective nursing leadership is linked to decreased nursing turnover, happier staff, and better patient outcomes.  Several studies indicate that a relationship-focused leader adds to these outcomes.  This type of leader is more likely to contribute positively to the workforce than laissez-faire or task-oriented leaders.  

Podcast Episode

In this episode of the Nurse Converse podcast, Carol Simpson, MSN, RN, NEA-BC shares insights into her leadership journey in nursing. She reflects on how her career transitioned from being a bedside nurse to a nurse executive by taking on small projects that made a positive impact on patient care and the work environment. Carol emphasizes the importance of having supportive bosses, resources, and the drive to make meaningful changes in nursing practice. Tune in to gain valuable perspective on what it takes to succeed in nursing leadership.

Jump Ahead to Listen:
[02:13] “Little L” leadership insights.
[03:37] Nurses becoming leaders
[08:00] Nursing in the operating room.
[12:36] Leadership and empowerment.
[14:45] Nursing leadership platform.
[19:20] Leadership Insights
[21:26] Seek mentorship at any level.

Advice For Future Nurse Leaders

One definition of Leadership is “a process by which an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal.”  Using influence, storytelling, and building relationships with people is my own personal approach to leading.  Building my team up and making decisions with them, and not for them, is critical to building trust and moving forward together.  Also, I believe that no leader knows all the answers.  If they think they do, it may be time for them to rethink leadership.  Investing in people as our most valuable assets is what I consider my “leadership platform”.  Happy people love coming to work, do well at their jobs, and go above and beyond for their organizations and their patients.  

Some key takeaways from this brief episode:

  • Focus on the team: If you are considering pursuing a career in Nursing Leadership, remember it's not always easy to see the things that make it a great career.  You need to find those things that aren’t about fame and glory and frankly, are not about yourself.  They are about your team and the care they provide to our patients.
  • Seize opportunities to lead initiatives and projects: Show your leader that you are interested and that you have what it takes to lead.  That does not mean you need to be perfect.  In fact, I would say it is the opposite.  But show them that you are interested in learning, want to help move the unit toward its goals, and have the drive to succeed.  It is a two-way street.  Your leader may call upon you, or you may need to take the step to show your interest.  Also- always take your leader up on an interim opportunity when asked.  If it doesn’t work out, you can go back to your day job.  If it does- it will take you places.  This happened to me twice.  I have no regrets.  
  • Mentorship is key: Seek mentors.  Be a mentor.  Mentorship is so valuable.  Formal and informal mentors are everywhere.  Slow down- seek advice or just bounce ideas off people.  You will always learn something.  
  • Your career path is unique: Remember our path to leadership is not identical to anyone else’s and it is not always linear.  I have gone up and down levels by choice to either support my children or learn something new.  I was not afraid to make a decision even though it led me to make a little less money.  It's all about your path and what you need to grow and add to your knowledge base.  

Connect with Carol on social media:

Instagram: @nurseconverse_host_simpson

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