1. Section Editor(s): Raso, Rosanne MS, RN, NEA-BC

Article Content

As John F. Kennedy once said, "Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other." How true! In nursing, we encourage our staff to strive for continuous education and it's the same for us. Without it, we become complacent and, even worse, dated and stale.

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Being excited about learning shows true leadership character, demonstrating motivation and commitment to personal, as well as organizational, growth. It's a joy to discover better ways to improve systems, manage resources, develop teams, and so much more. These are inspirational moments. As leaders, we must find our own stimulus to shine the light for others. New knowledge that's thought-provoking and insightful is clearly one way to do so.


What else do we know about learning? We know that teaching leads to learning and vice versa. As a role model, you're teaching all the time, even though you don't have the title of educator. And when you intentionally teach, you learn more than you ever thought you knew. It always amazes me how you may think that you know a topic but when you prepare to present it, there's hours of research and planning. Continuous learning, indeed.


Learning occurs in many ways: reading, observing, attending conferences, taking online courses, participating in organization-based classes, and engaging a poster presenter, just to name a few. Getting out of your usual environment accelerates learning as you interact with others, especially if you can avoid distraction and really be in the moment. The validation of discussing issues and new information with kindred spirits not only solidifies your knowledge, but also forms a network for the future. This can happen within your own healthcare system, virtually, or through regional or national forums.


There's a caveat here. Knowledge doesn't equal learning, improvement, or change. You or your staff members can sit in a classroom all day but until you apply the information in real life and put it into practice, it isn't internalized. How often do we come back with good ideas but fail to act on them? Don't let that happen. Innovation and transformation are stilted when you get stuck in everyday routines. This can happen easily when you're bombarded with day-to-day issues. It takes vision to overcome and push forward.


Maybe that's what JFK meant by learning and leadership being indispensable to each other. And the same goes for your team. Whatever they've learned in the classroom must be followed-up with clear expectations and accountability. It's all part of change management.


Nursing Management Congress is a perfect way to discover new concepts and be inspired. Our extraordinary conference chairperson, Jeffrey Doucette, has led an amazing committee in creating our impressive 2015 program. We hope to see you there!



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