1. Simpson, Roy L. DNP, RN, DPNAP, FAAN, FACMI
  2. McCauley, Linda PhD, RN, FAAN

Article Content

This issue explores innovative leadership models as well as the need for nursing-led collaboration across the continuum of care. These articles are just a sampling of where some of nursing's brightest minds want to take our profession, and we would love to hear what you are doing in your facilities as well.

Roy L. Simpson, DNP,... - Click to enlarge in new windowRoy L. Simpson, DNP, RN, DPNAP, FAAN, FACMI Linda McCauley, PhD, RN, FAAN

Focusing on leadership demands equal attention be paid to the single factor most critical to its success: followership. Taking a collaborative, shared, collective, or distributed approach is a choice that centers on approach, while followership concentrates on inspiring and motivating those who execute on executive leaders' vision and goals. Without followership, even the most robust leadership model will fall short.


At the heart of this quest for new leadership models remains the fundamental belief that nursing, while based in patient care, is larger than care. Nursing's leadership challenges revolve around building flexible organizations that can pivot on a regulatory change and becoming expert at change management.


Managing care delivery under new incentive models, such as bundled payments, was the top issue cited by health care executives participating a recent HealthStream 100 poll.1 In all, 98% of the respondents said that this issue dominated their concerns for 2017, relegating physician reimbursement to the number 2 position on the list. A national panel of 125 leading health care executives, The HealthStream 100 includes senior executives from nursing, human resources, quality, patient experience, marketing, learning, and the C-suite.


It continues to be imperative that nurses at all levels, not just the executive ranks, regularly acquire new knowledge. Pervasive online learning has erased the capacity limits previously constraining nursing education. Online learning now offers on-demand training for all levels of nursing practice, and advancing technologies, such as clinical simulation, have eased demand for clinical practicums. Simulation offers a low-risk way to acquire new skills without nurses or their patients suffering the effects of unintended consequences. However, to be effective, simulation needs to spend as much time on context and environment as it does on task execution.


The focus of this new knowledge can begin with care practices but it should not end there. Simply put, nursing is larger than care and even nurses at the sharp end of care need to expand their educational pursuits outside the hospital's 4 walls. Collaborating with other health care professionals inside their facilities and in other settings, including academic partners, makes for a richer nursing experience and deeper expertise.


Often, nurses in the field do not understand the preparation for the future that is needed because they are not exposed to emerging areas such as genomics, data analytics, and public policy. Recent nursing graduates know that the future of the profession depends on nurses being involved in public policy, locally and nationally to propel the profession forward. Working at the bedside can isolate nurses from understanding how public policy shapes care and defines roles.


Nursing can shape public policy by issue advocacy, putting forth new models of care, offering innovation, and belonging to professional organizations and political action committees. Inserting the profession's ideas, innovations, and point of view into existing public policy platforms enables nursing to mainstream its positions into the public discourse, clearing the way for the profession to be heard legislatively.


-Roy L. Simpson, DNP, RN, DPNAP, FAAN, FACMI


Assistant Dean and Clinical Professor


Technology Management


Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing


Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia


-Linda McCauley, PhD, RN, FAAN


Dean and Professor


Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing


Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia




1. The Top Challenges for Healthcare Leaders in 2017. HealthStream. http:// Published 2017. Acces-sed June 19, 2017. [Context Link]