Gerontological Nursing Leadership Journey: Passion for Advancing Professionalism, Excellence, and Transitional Care for Older Adults

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Marie A. Rogers, DNP
Center for Care Management, Sanford USD Medical Center, Sanford Health, Sioux Falls, SD, USA
Mona L. Hohman, MS
Sanford Health Network, Sanford Health, Sioux Falls, SD, USA
Nelma B. Crawford Shearer, PhD
College of Nursing & Healthcare Innovation, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA

The Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) Gerontological Nursing Leadership Academy (GNLA) mission is to prepare and position nurses in leadership roles in various health care settings to lead interprofessional teams in the improvement of health care quality for older adults and their families. The purpose of this poster is to convey the leadership development journey of a GNLA Cohort V Fellow. The experience consists of three comprehensive domains: Individual Leadership Development (ILDP), Advancing Practice through an Interprofessional Team Leadership Project, and Expanding Scope of Influence: Organization, Community, and Profession. The GNLA 18 month Fellowship encompasses a triad model consisting of the Fellow, Leadership Mentor, and Faculty Advisor.

The Fellow completed an in-depth, introspective leadership inventory and reflection to establish priorities for the ILDP during the first phase of GNLA. Based on the self-assessment, top priorities for individual leadership development were inspired by the five practices of exemplary leadership by Kouzes and Posner (2012). The top three priority exemplary practices selected as goals were “Challenge the Process,” “Inspire a Shared Vision,” and “Enable Others to Act.” Various strategies and concepts have enabled the Fellow to achieve insight and improved leadership attributes. The goals included the promotion of interprofessional team work, incorporation of evidence based nursing care, collegiality, collaboration, and systems improvement. Key strategies utilized were Passion; Seizing initiatives and looking for innovative ways to improve; Challenging the status quo; Transforming the way things are done; Providing the context for change; Promoting interprofessional teamwork; Encouraging innovation; Generating wins and recognition; Providing resources; Incorporating developmental delegation; and Creating a climate of inquiry, openness, patience, and encouragement. Positive results of the domain have changed the Fellow’s focus, moving from a management style to that of a leader and facilitator in the healthcare setting.

The Advancing Practice through an Interprofessional Team Leadership Project domain encompassed an evidence based bidirectional nurse to nurse interfacility handoff for older adults transitioning from acute to post-acute care by providing the necessary knowledge, skills, attitudes, and process for the change. The interprofessional leadership project entailed five distinct phases: (1) Design; (2) Build, (3) Learning management system course development; (4) Implementation, and (5) Measure. A process metric includes the number of handoffs completed by sending nurses as documented in the electronic medical record. Outcome metrics are expressed in three ways: (1)Satisfaction of receiving nurse pre- and post-implementation as expressed in an online Qualitrics®survey; (2) Knowledge of the handoff process expressed as a pre-post-test score in the learning management system; and (3) Percentages of readmissions pre- and post-implementation. Interprofessionals included in the project were acute care registered nurses, social workers, skilled nursing facility nurses, case managers, information technology, clinical informatics, marketing analyst, administration, quality, safety, performance improvement, center for learning and academic affairs, learning and development manager, learning and development specialist, enterprise director of accreditation, and enterprise director of risk management. The interprofessional project geographically impacts the transitional care of older adults in parts of South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, and Montana.

The Expanding Scope of Influence: Organization, Community, and Profession domain included various strategies and activities for personal leadership growth and development. As a Fellow, I strive to passionately serve the local community through leadership endeavors through innovation, documentation, communication, and transformation in acute and post-acute initiatives. Professional accomplishments included: (1) Acceptance of an evidence based practice (EBP) poster presentation at an academic nursing conference; (2) Podium presentation of an EBP project for the local chapter of STTI; (3) Podium presentation at a national nursing research and EBP conference; (4) Secured funding for 16 nurses to complete an online program for certification in Care Coordination and Transition Management; (5) Elected to the Board of the South Dakota Organization of Nurse Executives as the Bylaws Chairperson; and (6) Selected and served on a national task force under the joint auspices of the American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing and Academy of Medical Surgical Nurses: “Care Transition Hand-Off Tool Task Force.”