Annual Nurse Leadership Summit Takes a Deep Dive Into the Challenges of the Future

Annual nursing leadership meeting questions and inspires

From Kelly Hancock, DNP, RN, NE-BC, FAAN

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With more than 500 nurse leaders in attendance, Cleveland Clinic’s 11th Annual Nursing Leadership Summit focused on the future.

Themed “Building a Culture of Health: New Roles, New Rules,” the Summit was appropriately aligned with the National Academy of Medicine initiative, “The Future of Nursing 2020–2030.” The initiative aims to chart a new path for the nursing profession to help create a culture of health in the U.S. by reducing health disparities and improving the overall health and wellbeing of the U.S. population.

Preparing for the next decade

Cleveland Clinic President and CEO Tom Mihaljevic, MD, set the stage for the summit with a brief video that outlines the current landscape of healthcare and discusses Cleveland Clinic’s influential role in determining the future of health.

Nurse leaders took a closer look at how the work of the professional nurse is changing as healthcare progresses. Discussions included the expansion of the nurse role to encompass a broader range of patients in ambulatory and community health settings, as well as emerging nurse responsibilities in population health, care coordination and inter-professional collaboration.

Cleveland Clinic’s nurse leaders were asked to think about how they could enhance their own leadership roles. They were encouraged to bring innovation into the many sectors of their work, from clinical management to caregiver development. They were challenged to expand their vision, consider their roles from fresh perspectives and brainstorm new or different growth and development opportunities to better support nursing caregivers.

Cleveland Clinic-led presentations and panel discussions encompassing information, insight and success stories, included:

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Nationally recognized keynote guests

To further guide the conversation, the Nursing Leadership Summit planning committee invited nationally renowned nursing and healthcare experts Peter Buerhaus, PhD, RN, FAAN, FAANP(h), Professor of Nursing of the Center for Interdisciplinary Health Workforce Studies at the College of Nursing at Montana State University; and Virginia (Ginny) Beeson, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, a nurse executive, consultant and educator with more than 45 years of experience in healthcare.

Insights from Dr. Buerhaus

Through a highly educational presentation, Dr. Buerhaus offered a unique look at the changing healthcare environment. He first shared 10 key strengths of the nursing workforce and how these strengths help position nursing for the future. Among them, he noted an increasingly educated workforce, steady employment growth, and enduring support from public and private sectors.

He also discussed implications and ideas for leadership and planning as the nursing profession moves forward. For example, he stated that hospital leaders, educators and policy makers should be working together to address challenges like:

  • The aging population and the increased demand for nurses as experienced and knowledgeable nurses retire.
  • Large shortages of primary and specialty care physicians adding to the demand facing nurses.
  • The increasing number of less experienced nurses who are ill-prepared for a value-based world.

To help overcome these challenges he offered suggestions such as taking action to anticipate nurse retirement, creating programs to bring older and younger nurses together, strengthening succession planning and offering opportunities for retiring nurses to fill roles like mentoring or community engagement.

In his remarks, Dr. Buerhaus also provided insight for academic nurse leaders, thoughts on how to overcome barriers in using advanced-practice registered nurses (APRNs), and assuring the quality of APRNs.

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Recommendations from Ginny Beeson

Presenting a thoughtful and inspiring discussion on resiliency, Ginny Beeson, a retired chief nurse executive at The National Naval Medical Center, offered Summit attendees valuable suggestions for finding resiliency in their work by maintaining strength and spirit during challenging times.

Beeson stressed the need for strong, resilient and courageous nurse leaders to face challenges confidently and make substantive changes successfully. She offered her thoughts on building necessary skills to develop greater resiliency. Some of her recommendations, included:

  • Building strong and cohesive teams where there is trust, support, open and honest communication, respect and more.
  • Embracing change and implementing a change model that includes motivation, a change process and persistence to sustain the change.

She also discussed how sharing positive stories builds resiliency and morale. Beeson ended her comments by challenging Cleveland Clinic’s nurse leaders to encourage their teams to take care of and support each other. She noted that when teams pull together, they can maintain strength, overcome challenges, and make the healthcare world better.

Prepare for the future – more tips coming soon

Help your nursing organization better prepare for the future and the changing role of the nurse. Check back in the coming months for more insight and information on key topics presented at Cleveland Clinic’s 11th Annual Nursing Leadership Summit.