Kathy D. Atkins, BSN, RN, Director of Nursing Support Services and Patient Placement at Children’s of Alabama, went to the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing’s 2014 Mapping and Sustaining a Personal Leadership Journey workshop not knowing what to expect – she initially participated because her chief nursing officer suggested she and a number of her colleagues attend. What she ended up discovering was a professional path to leadership that has helped set the course for the rest of her career.
The UAB School of Nursing’s Office of Professional Development, –April 30 to May 1, 2015– will again host the 2015 Leadership Practices for Quality and Safety workshop. It will be held at the UAB National Alumni Society House. This second-annual workshop builds upon the success of the 2014 event and targets the development of early and mid-career nurse leaders who want to enhance their leadership practices to improve quality and safety.
“What you realize when you get there is there is a lot of nursing knowledge in that room and a lot of learning opportunities with other nurse leaders from the community that you wouldn’t otherwise get,” Atkins said. “I can’t say enough about the professional opportunities, the mentoring opportunities and networking opportunities that this conference provided.”
At the end of this year’s interactive workshop, participants will be equipped with leadership strategies to create a practice environment plan conducive to quality improvement and safety, understand the characteristics of effective collaborative teams, and identify metrics and measures to evaluate quality and safety.
“This workshop is for nursing directors, nurse managers, charge nurses, clinical nurse leaders, nurse educators, quality and safety managers, and other professionals who desire to grow in their knowledge of effective quality and safety leadership practices,” said Maria Shirey, PhD, RN, FAAN, assistant dean for clinical and global partnerships, and chair of the workshop planning committee. The complexity of the health care environment creates more demands on mid-level leaders in nursing. Many do not have the academic preparation for these complex roles and need to develop or enhance skills to create safe and meaningful work environments that consistently deliver high-quality care. This workshop will help develop these skills.
Part of what makes the upcoming workshop unique, Shirey says, is its featured presenters.
Lieutenant Colonel Julie Freeman, RN, MSN, from the U.S. Army Nurse Corps, is the keynote presenter on the first day, discussing the leadership required to make a positive system-wide change in the delivery of nursing care in the Army Medical Department. This change, the Patient Caring Touch System (PCTS), is a model of care that is showing great promise in improving the nursing practice environment and improving patient outcomes. Lieutenant Colonel Freeman served as the Program Manager for Sustainment of the PCTS from 2012 to 2014.
“Lieutenant Colonel Freeman will share a wealth of knowledge from the perspectives of point of care providers to the senior level of the organization in terms of leading change,” Shirey said. “When you think about an organization as large as the Army Medical Department and what it takes to effect system-wide changes, what our attendees can learn from her will be invaluable.”
Also presenting as keynotes the second day are Lisle Hites, MS, MEd, PhD, assistant professor in the UAB School of Public Health, and Angela Jukkala, PhD, RN, CNE, CNL, associate professor in the UAB School of Nursing. Drs. Hites and Jukkala will discuss interprofessional collaboration and teamwork for quality and safety and how aspects of team building are essential to high performance. Together they will talk about building effective interprofessional teams for high reliability organizations, integrating Hites’ experience as an industrial/organizational psychologist in evaluating the performance of teams with Jukkala’s clinical perspective of what is needed by today’s nurse leaders.
In addition to the keynotes, attendees will learn about leadership and excellent nurse practice environments, quality and safety exemplars, and measures and metrics for quality and safety. They also will break into groups led by quality and safety experts who will facilitate group discussions and exercises focused on leadership for quality and safety, and building interprofessional partnerships for quality and safety.
“The group sessions were amazing last year,” Atkins said. “So many good things happened at that table. One of the UAB faculty, Dr. Martha Dawson, who was facilitating at our table, has become a mentor to me. She saw something in me that day and it is so inspiring to meet someone like that, with so much energy that believes in you. She has inspired me to want to go further in my career. And, I met someone from another hospital who used to have my same position and who has gone on to even greater leadership positions. We’ve stayed in contact and it has been so beneficial to have someone you know who has been where you are to bounce off ideas or seek advice. My experience with the conference has continued to pay dividends.”
Through February 28, cost for the two-day workshop is $295. After February 28, cost is $350. Registration includes workshop attendance, coffee service, lunch and snack each day, plus all workshop materials and continuing education credit. Space is limited to the first 100 registrants and the workshop fills early. For more information or to register, go to uab.edu/opd.
Atkins says she can’t wait to attend this year’s conference and has advice for anyone considering attending.
“Go for it,” she says.