Ask the nursing expert: What can I do to support professional growth?

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Ask the nursing expert
Ask the nursing expert

Q: As director of nursing in my facility, each year I search for better ways to promote quality care and professional growth in my staff. Any suggestions for this year?

A: Focus on commitment and ensuring a culture of support. I find that sharing your commitment to providing the best care in an atmosphere of continuous quality improvement and ongoing demonstration of your commitment when making rounds on your nursing units provide a firm foundation.

Ensure that your nurses are comfortable approaching you with questions and problems they might have. Your interactions with them will motivate them as they continue through their professional growth. There are many potential obstacles in what we do from day to day, but do not lose sight of our role as mentors to all members of our nursing team.

Work at keeping yourself healthy, with enough rest, exercise, nutrition and a sense of humor.

Q: Most nurses I know have control issues, including myself, but would like to micro-manage less. How do I find balance with what to hold onto and what to let go?

A: Often, I have seen nursing leadership combine roles, since they have all been charge nurses/staff nurses earlier in their career. Our primary role is to coach, teach and mentor.

Coach nurses to practice what they have learned, teach them what they have not yet learned, and mentor through their learning critical thinking and how to prioritize their work day. Watching your team grow as professional nurses is extremely rewarding.

Micro-managing creates an environment of dependency and will eventually drive team members away to a less restrictive environment. Motivate your followers to grow.

Please send your nursing-related questions to Anne Marie Barnett at ltcnews@mcknights.com.

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