1. Riffle, Elizabeth M. MN, BSN, RN, RNC-OB, ICCE

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In reference to the article "Standout Nurse Leaders... What's in the Research?" by Vickie Hughes, DSN, MSN, BSN, CNS (September 2017), I love that you further define "emotional capacity" for aspiring leaders. You even dedicate a full article just to emotional intelligence in "Nurse Leader Emotional Intelligence: How Does It Affect Clinical Nurse Job Satisfaction?" by Angela R. Coladonato, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, and Mary Lou Manning, PhD, CRNP, CIC, FAAN, FNAP (September 2017). These characteristics truly define a standout leader. However, I feel that we're still missing something integral-the time to take the steps in between.


As a former nurse manager of a busy labor and delivery unit, it was frustrating when my direct boss, other leaders, and professional coaches harped on characteristics and behaviors that I needed to hone or embody, yet when a class or seminar series became available, there was little support for the time off necessary to attend. There was also very little time to read, research, and reflect on current healthcare and management issues and news.


Nursing management is way more than a Monday through Friday, regular business hours, 40-hour work-week gig. Anyone who has fielded 0300 phone calls from their charge nurse and pulled back-to-back-to-back 70-hour work weeks knows that attending conferences and/or seminars while in a management position is basically a pot-of-gold dream. There's often extremely limited time to get away for a 3-day weekend, never mind getting the support to spend all week at a conference.


A standout leader isn't just born, this person is cultivated. He or she is supported both personally and professionally to take the necessary steps toward attaining this status. I urge senior management to set aside specific time to grow their managers, and I urge new managers to speak up for their own career enhancement. Healthcare needs you to become a standout leader!


-Elizabeth M. Riffle, MN, BSN, RN, RNC-OB, ICCE


Terra Alta, W.Va.