Today’s Successful Nursing Leader is Everywhere

At Stanford Health Care, we are creating the future of nursing and optimizing leadership potential at every level. Nurses have numerous professional practice decisions that need to be made each day, and answer challenging questions from other nurses, physicians and patients. Nursing is often defined as the kind of profession with long hours and high stress. This is tough in any environment, but even greater today when we have so many uncertainties about the future of healthcare and an ever changing complex work environment. Last week we had nursing Grand Rounds and a Nursing Leadership Workshop presented by a peer CNO from the East Coast on “Transformational Leadership: High Performing Leadership in a Rapidly Changing Environment”.

I looked around and  saw “Transformational Leadership” alive through all of you, in what you do every day to care for our patients. The nurses who demonstrated caring to the patient through a health challenge when they were about to give up and you got them through the crucial event….The nurse who goes out to the waiting room to find the wife sitting alone. Her husband’s status has changed and she is unable to reach any family member, so you listen as she shares stories of their life together while other healthcare professionals work on him; you all are making a difference in the life of the patient and family in your own ways . As a nurse leader who advocates and provides leadership in designing and implementing innovative solutions that address system problems and patient care issues such as the redesign of the EMR and CANTO for wound care pictures – you know you add value everywhere nursing is practiced. You are leading.

This is “Who We Are” … enhancing the motivation, morale, and performance of followers; instilling a sense of identity, purpose and self to the work and the persona of the organization; being a role model for peers that inspires and sparks interest in change; challenging others to take greater ownership for their work, and understanding the strengths and weaknesses of followers, so the leader can align followers with tasks that enhance their performance. Transformational Leadership is about creating change, purpose and using it to set directions in a practice setting.

As Transformational Leaders, we hold the key to unlock “what is” in order to discover, “what can be”. I’m looking to all of you to describe the future you want to create. It starts with you, take the challenge to describe, create and achieve it by challenging and changing ourselves first. After all, the essence of true transformational leadership is by becoming the change YOU want to see in the world and by having a vision for change and to bring along a host of world changers WITH YOU!

Be an idea generator, make your ideas contagious, cultivate presence, bolster your self-confidence, express gratitude, impress mindfulness, and the art of caring and of endless possibilities of boosting resilience daily. Transformational leadership influences the quality of our patients and the nurses’ working lives, I see it every day, more than I ever thought. I encourage each of you to submit your story of Transformational Leadership to

One thought on “Today’s Successful Nursing Leader is Everywhere

  1. Transformational leadership extends beyond the role of management, who are leaders in their own right. As I enter my final (capstone) class in my master’s of science in nursing administration and education, I cannot have come this far without the insight, guidance, and wisdom of transformational leaders such as Cecilia Cadet, C2 Patient Care Manager, and Anita Girard, Assistant Director of Nursing Practice and Education. Leadership is about not only accountability, but encouraging others to become leaders themselves. Challenged with succession, we eagerly seek retention, and mentoring is an effective tool for professional nurse development. I’m often questioned as to why I’d want to become a manager and I realized I don’t want to be a manager. I want to be a leader, I want to encourage change, and encourage change in others…always for the better. To be excellent, you must think excellence. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to learn, participate, and innovate.


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