I didn’t see myself as a leader or management material until I was asked to take on this role. I had so many doubts and feared failure. At the time, I was new to the organization and the area and hadn’t yet built relationships with the staff. Plus, I still had so many questions about being a staff nurse that I wondered if it was right to move to the next professional level. Now I’m all too aware of the lack of nurses willing to step up and take on leadership roles. There are only a few who can take my place if I need to be out, making it difficult to staff the unit adequately. It’s important that nurses realize they don’t have to go into management to be leaders. On our unit, the nurses involved in the shared governance committee provide valuable leadership to the rest of the staff by introducing information and helping to implement new practices.
Many times, when nurses take one step toward leadership, they will take another. I hope this article inspires them to take this first step, because it will benefit them both personally and professionally. It will also strengthen the units on which these nurses work and the nursing profession overall. Ingrid Butler, RN Charlotte, NC
regard to this role, and her encouragement boosted my confidence and contributed to my belief in my leadership potential. With her support and that of other senior leaders in my organization, I accepted the management position and now feel inspired, responsible, and accountable for the care received by the patients recovering on my unit. The encouragement and guidance I received leading up to and following this decision have been crucial in my development as a nurse leader. We must identify employees with management potential, embrace teachable moments, and, above all, set an example in the workplace. The success of any organization is largely dependent on the selection and development of its future managers and leaders.
About two years ago, I was approached by my manager to take on a leadership role as the clinical nurse supervisor of a 42-bed medical–surgical unit.The reasons for my hesitation in accepting this position included all of those discussed in Dr. Hancock’s article: lack of experience, less time with patients, and work–life imbalance, among others. My manager at the time (now LaurenLippincott Porter,Williams BSN,& Wilkins RN-BC my mentor) made a point of idenThe Health Career Authority San Francisco ▼ tifying my strengths and assets in