September 19, 2023

Leadership session: Activating Tomorrow’s Leaders…Today!

Editor’s Note

Katie Boston-Leary, PhD, MBA, MHA, RN, NEA-BC, CCTP, director of nursing programs at the American Nurses Association, spoke about the future of healthcare leaders at the OR Manager Conference on Monday morning. “There’s a concern about leadership in healthcare,” and there is a resistance to change, she noted. “We are caught in a vicious cycle.” 

The staffing shortage, shrinking hospital margins, and supply chain issues are making it more challenging to be in a nurse leadership role. But the need for productive teams and effective leadership is crucial to mitigating these ongoing issues.. 

Boston-Leary shared the key traits and characteristics of an effective leader. "You have to face these these problems head-on," she noted, adding that an effective leader looks at the situation realistically and knows that certain difficulties disappearing anytime soon.  

An effective leader is always:

  • creating an environment of trust 
  • committing to lifelong learning, unlearning, and relearning
  • using the upper part of their brain, which controls critical reasoning, judgement and creativity
  • focusing on a growth mindset
  • valuing inclusive excellence among their team.

To conclude the session, Boston-Leary noted how fostering feelings of safety and belonging as well as practicing positive reinforcement are hallmarks of effective leadership. Leaders who take this to heart see several positive outcomes, including clear communication, productive activity, integration, and celebration in their teams.


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