Ask the nursing expert

I have three leadership positions open in my facility and I just can’t seem to find what I am looking for. Any suggestions? 

I always make a list of the qualities I am looking for when hiring my leadership team. There are clinical competency needs for a position, and a nurse’s ability to “lead” must also be evaluated.

Talk to other members of your leadership team who meet the skills you are looking for. Example: You have a nurse manager who demonstrates clinical competency, a calm manner in difficult situations, spends time making thorough rounds interacting with families, and has obvious staff respect. 

Develop interview questions around these skills. Example of a good interview question: “Can you tell me about how you interact with resident families on your unit?” or “When you have to implement a change in how a shift report is being done, how would you do it?” 

Standard interview questions are OK, but they do not always get to the information you need to know about a potential new member of your leadership team. Dig a bit deeper and you may be happier with the quality of your interviews and find just the right people.

New year, with more budget cuts, more clinically complex residents, and stiffer regulations, how do I continue to meet expectations?

Schedule a meeting with your corporate supervisor and discuss options for working more efficiently. Be prepared with specific questions and some of your own ideas on how to be efficient with current responsibilities. 

You are not alone. Networking makes the strain seem less overwhelming. Long-term care organizations such as ANA and NADONA have websites with contact information. Reach out!