Learning More About Our Leaders

Chief Nursing Officer Lisa Paulo reflects on the challenges SVMHS nurse leaders faced during COVID-19 and why they chose to lead.

In the midst of the last COVID surge, I was struck by the challenges facing our nurse leaders.

Leadership – specifically, “to lead within the professional practice setting and the profession” – has been identified as a foundational competency of the registered nurse, according to Standard 12 of the American Nurses Association publication, Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice, fourth edition.

There are nurses who chose, either through informal influence as a peer – as chairs or co-chairs of Shared Governance Councils, or in positions such as charge nurse, supervisor, manager or director – to assume a greater level of leadership within their profession. Creating, sustaining and navigating within a thriving healthcare environment requires passion, commitment and a host of other key attributes and skills.

As I pondered the experiences of our leaders over this past year, I had the honor to participate in the Good Listening Project, and the poem to the right emerged. It prompted a bigger question: Why do leaders choose this path? The responses I received from our leaders – on what inspired them to go the extra mile, rising above and through the chaos while encouraging, influencing and embracing those within their sphere of influence – have been quite moving.

For the Ones Stepping Up

We see you,
Rucksacks full,
Every day,
Bigger burdens,
Taking on more weight –
No extra space,
Trekking uphill,
Helping others
Along the way.

We appreciate you,
Digging deep,
Doing what needs
To be done –
Showing up,
Solving problems,
Your own struggles; Exhausted,
Yet undeterred.

Remember –
The day will come
When the world looks back,
When we look back,
In awe of our endurance;
Grateful for our fortitude;
Our rucksacks,
Made lighter,
By a rare kind
Of pride.

Listener Poet Jenny Hegland

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