Some quick take-homes from AJN’s editor-in-chief, Shawn Kennedy:
I’m in Denver at the annual meeting of the American Association of Nurse Executives (AONE), the organization comprised mostly of hospital nurse executives, administrators, and managers. As you can imagine, the focus is on leadership.
Captain “Sully” Sullenberger, the former US Airways pilot who safely landed a disabled passenger plane on the Hudson River in New York City in 2009, was the featured keynote speaker. He of course talked about the event that launched his second career as a speaker, author, and safety expert, but his message was really about leading in challenging times. Some key messages:
- His success in landing the plane was the result of teamwork, with everyone executing what they had learned and practiced.
- Core values must be made real on a daily basis in organizations.
- Errors and bad outcomes are almost never the result of a single person or event, but a result of a cascading chain of events or failures.
Marilyn Chow, who spoke only briefly after accepting the AONE 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award, could as easily have been the keynote speaker at the meeting. Chow, who is vice-president, national patient care services, Kaiser Permanente, spoke with humor and passion about her values and where she thinks nursing’s values should be. She told of her 87-year-old mother’s great joy in helping feed “the old folks” at a senior day care center and identified her as the source for her own belief that “life is a gift and we should spend it doing meaningful things.”
Chow’s core message was that caregivers and families need to be co-leaders in changing health care, that nurses need to start thinking differently about their roles in our changing health care landscape and their potential to play a more prominent role in coordinating care and in meeting the growing need for primary care—and that this needs to happen sooner rather than later.