1. Section Editor(s): Laskowski-Jones, Linda MS, APRN, ACNS-BC, CEN, FAWM, FAAN

Article Content

This editorial is dedicated to frontline nurses making their first forays into leading projects and initiatives at work. If you came up with an idea that you want to pursue, or if your supervisor asked you to take ownership of a new endeavor, now's the time to assess your professional skill set. The strategies you'll need to avoid personal angst or missteps involve healthy abilities to communicate, collaborate, motivate, influence, and lead change. Are you prepared? If you or your colleagues could use a few survival tips, read on.

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First, find a willing mentor who knows his or her way around your organization-ideally, your supervisor or another appropriate leader who can be a sounding board for ideas before you embark on a potentially thorny path or the wrong one altogether. Talk things out early and often. Document your specific ideas or plans for clarity at each stage and share them with your mentor to prevent misunderstandings. Your mentor should be able to help you approach situations with strategies that minimize or proactively manage any potential conflict, as well as obtain and use resources effectively.


Next, appreciate that individuals may have different perspectives than you. How you respond to feedback could make or break the project, your relationships with coworkers, and your willingness to volunteer in the future. The feedback is about the project, so avoid taking anything too personally.


Feedback is a gift that can offer constructive insights into possible barriers or gaps that may have been overlooked and must be addressed for the project to be successful. Actively listen and show that you value people who take the time to give it to you. Reaching full agreement from everyone on all aspects of any project is rarely possible, but at least people will know you were open to hearing their ideas.


If you make a misstep along the way, own it with a mature attitude, rectify it to the best degree possible, and then move on. Character strength is built from the learning that occurs.


Finally, don't underestimate the time and energy involved. Evaluate what's realistic to accomplish within the timeframe and parameters that you have. The ball is in your court-don't drop it!


Until next time,


Linda Laskowski-Jones, MS, APRN, ACNS-BC, CEN, FAWM, FAAN

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Editor-in-Chief, Nursing2016 Vice President, Emergency & Trauma Services Christiana Care Health System, Wilmington, Del.