The most crucial skill nurse leaders must embrace right now

Bari Faye Dean – Tuesday, August 1st, 2023

While reiterating that hospitals continue to remain in a “state of recovery” even months after the official end of the COVID-19 public health emergency, Robyn Begley, DNP, RN, CEO of the American Organization of Nursing Leaders, said healthcare has rounded the corner enough to see what’s coming.

If you are impressed by what artificial intelligence is showing it can do to transform healthcare delivery models, just wait, Dr. Begley told Becker’s, noting the fully technology-enabled future is going to require nurses who are resilient enough to embrace change.

That means nursing executives must be prepared to embrace and conquer the challenges of change and lead their teams in real time. Dr. Begley calls it “change leadership.”

While some businesses can close their doors to re-tool their processes, healthcare doesn’t have that luxury. “We are 24/7. We can’t afford to shut down for any amount of time,” she said. “We have no choice but to reinvent the car at the same time we are changing the tires.”

With healthcare models already transitioning to embrace technology, nurse leaders must focus on shifting strategies, including team-based models that include virtual care.

“But most of all, we need to be comfortable with the idea of change as leaders,” she said. “How else will we be able to lead our teams through change?”

Dr. Begley acknowledged that embracing change has not traditionally been taught as part of a nurse’s skillset. “So we need more training to effectively guide the innovation process. This transition is not going to be a straight line.”