Changing Times Require New Perspectives

Nursing is a dynamic and challenging profession. However, it would appear that nursing has been underrepresented in creating their own narrative. Nurses have a unique set of skills, qualities, and attributes that lend themselves nicely to a myriad of situations that involve critical thinking and thinking that is outside of the box. When nurses are faced with a problem in the clinical environment it can lead to some very interesting outcomes. Take the crash cart for example. Did you know that Anita Dorr, RN invented the crash cart after watching precious time wasted while people ran for needed supplies. Did you know that Barton-Salinas, RN came up with the color coding of IV lines? Why? Because in an emergency, a nurse has seconds to identify the correct equipment and to keep patients safe. Did you know that phototherapy for jaundiced babies in the newborn nursery was invented by a nurse, or baby bottles with disposable liners, or the Bili-Bonnet (special glasses for new babies to protect their eyes from the phototherapy)? There is a myriad of other interventions too, such as the ostomy bag, the feeding tube for paralyzed veterans, and yes even the peri-pad! (Cosier, 2017). Nurses have been assuming more and more responsibility for patient care, and more, and more nurses are finding themselves as the go-to person when it comes to coordinating care, providing care, advocating for patients, solving problems related to meeting core measures and a plethora of other issues. So, where are nurses when it comes to advocating for nurses and for the profession?

Calling All Nurses

We hear of empowerment, shared decision-making, safe staffing, feeling valued and respected for our contributions to the healthcare environment, and the need to work in a safe, healthy and healing work environment. But truthfully, I do not hear enough nurse’s voices rallying around these issues. The time has come for nurses to secure a positive future. Moreover, we will not get there if there continues to be the 3 B’s (bitching, bickering, & backstabbing) in the work environment. What can we do today to promote each other and our nurse leaders to secure a more positive future? First, identify those nurses who are negative and are known as bullies and avoid putting them in leadership positions so that we can secure a positive future for nursing.

What we know:

  • Leadership is:
    • A process
    • Embodies influence
    • Occurs within a group context
    • Involves achieving common goals that are reflective of the vision (Cummings, et al., 2018).

Relational Leadership Styles are associated with improved outcomes for the nursing workforce. Nurses are capable of providing visionary and positive transformative leadership to address the myriad of challenges were are currently seeing in healthcare; especially, related to nursing retention.

‘An organization that fails to develop its quiet leaders is apt to be left with negative informal leaders who, while vocal, produce little’’ and ‘‘[w]ithout an environment that fosters internal growth, the best talent may be virtually unnoticed or go elsewhere’’. With the ever-growing background knowledge on positive leadership figures in nursing, it is important to also be aware of this ‘‘negative leader’’ phenomenon, and to counter its potential influence” (Scully, 2015).


Benedik, P. S. (2011). Unintended consequences of Critical Care Technology.  American Association of Critical Care Nurses [National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition]. Retrieved from:

Cosier, S. (2017). 8 Medical inventions created by nurses. [Science]. Retrieved from:

Cummings, G. G., Tate, K., Lee, S., Wong, C. A., Paananen, T., Micaroni, S. P., & Chatterjee, G. E. (2018). Leadership styles and outcome patterns for the nursing workforce and work environment: A systematic review. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 85, 19-60. doi:

Scully, N. J. (2015). Leadership in nursing: The importance of recognizing inherent values and Attributes to secure a positive future for the profession. ScienceDirect, 22, 439-444. doi: