Advanced education in nursing leadership prepares nurses to take on new and innovative roles in health care. Through MSN and DNP leadership degrees, like those offered at Rutgers School of Nursing, students gain new skills ranging from business to finance to communications, equipping them to improve the delivery of care and expected outcomes for patients and communities.
Edna Cadmus (PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN), clinical professor and specialty director of the leadership programs at the Rutgers School of Nursing, shares the top four reasons why pursuing a nursing leadership degree might be right for you.
1) Viability in the future
The future requires forward-thinking leaders who can create a delivery system that meets the demands of the consumer. Nursing leaders set the vision for the delivery of safe timely, efficient, equitable, and consumer-driven care across the continuum. Nursing leaders in these types of education programs evolve and are better able to meet and exceed the demands in the work setting they choose.
2) Community Connections
Nurse leaders impact outcomes for both patients, their families, and their communities. Nursing leadership programs such as ours allow you to engage with community leaders across the spectrum through the broad networks of the faculty teaching in the program. You will have the opportunity to demonstrate nurses’ value in the community and recognize opportunities you may not have considered before.
3) Changing demands
Leadership requires new skills and competencies to meet the demands of health and health care. This program will assist you in focusing on population health to help improve outcomes of populations through the use of data.
A leadership program offers the opportunity to learn and be mentored by leaders that have state and national presence. Faculty and students have an opportunity to develop a bond that goes beyond graduation.
Rutgers School of Nursing currently offers three options for nursing leadership at the MSN and DPN level. Learn more about leadership programs at Rutgers School of Nursing.
Alumna, BS in Nursing ’17; staff nurse in oncology department
What keeps you going at a time like this?
“’When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you’ (Isaiah 43:2, ESV). This is what keeps me anchored, my patients think I have it all figured out but the truth is HE has it all figured out, so I just keep working through it all.”
Alumna, DNP ’17; emergency department RN and advanced practice nurse in urgent care
“I went back to the ER to help fight COVID as an RN. As a family nurse practitioner in emergency care, I was terrified by what I saw. Never in my life did I believe I would be rendering care during a pandemic while starting a gofundme drive to provide PPE to my coworkers after establishing connections with local paint distributors. COVID has been nothing short of a nightmare, but knowing I helped patients and my colleagues makes this journey a little easier. Stay safe out there!
“As a nurse, you are the eyes and ears for the patient. Never fear advocating for your patients’ health and for your personal safety. Please fight to ensure that you have proper PPE at all times. If we don’t care for ourselves, who will be left to care for our patients.
“Never fear advocating for your patients’ health and your personal safety.”
Student, DNP executive model program;vice president of research development at a social service agency
“On March 30th, just as face coverings and masks were being instituted, I came down with COVID-19. I was ill for 2 1/2 weeks but was able to recuperate and work from home the entire time. My husband also got sick but happily, my two teenage daughters did not.
Shame and stigma of being ill and guilt of being sick when so many people were in need
“I felt the shame and stigma of being ill and the guilt of being sick at a time when so many people were in need. I returned to the front line with compassion, strict attention to protocol, and enthusiasm to help those in need and a commitment to reducing risk to not only viruses but racism in medicine and nursing.
Words to Colleagues: It’s okay to be scared. Courage is feeling the fear and doing it anyway
“It is okay to be scared. If we were not scared, we would not be human. Courage is feeling the fear and doing it anyway. Self-care is mandatory, find out what it means to you and stick to it. It is not a luxury. Bad things happen to people despite doing everything ‘right.’ Hang in there, keep in touch with your feelings and colleagues, see the difference you can make with one person, as well as the bigger picture. See the connections between COVID-19 and the systems that we all need to manage. Be a leader, use your power to improve health care in this country.”
Alumna, DNP in Leadership, May 2020; nurse informaticist in a university medical center
“As nurse informaticist in my organization, I had to come up with new ways to provide efficient clinical IT training for new hires as the nation transitioned to largely working from home.
Using Communications Tech in New Ways
“Prior to COVID, we used WebEx mainly for conducting meetings with screen share options. However, with this tool, I was able to demo and provide hands-on training with the new hires and other clinicians from other hospitals who have been assigned to our hospital due to COVID-19 demand.
“New hires can learn 1:1 with me, while navigating the clinical applications real-time. Doing so allows for flexibility and safer environment when social distancing is required.
Collaborating to Connect Patients and Their Families
“With patient visitors being restricted during the COVID-19 pandemic, our organization had to think of ways to allow continued patient/family communication during the patient’s stay. Through the use of technology, we developed protocols on iPad use for patient/family communication.
“A multi-disciplinary approach is needed to successfully implement iPad use in lieu of in-person family visits. Social workers and other providers work closely with the nursing department to identify patients who meets the criteria for iPad use. The information technology department also plays a significant role in ordering and setting up the iPads, making sure the devices are ready for patient use. Apps such as FaceTime, Zoom, and Skype are the tools patients use to get in touch with their families.
“As a nurse informaticist, I believe there are still more ways that health care can maximize the use of technology during this unprecedented time. I am glad that I am in this role where I know that my technological and clinical expertise can help lead innovation in delivering quality care to our patients and their families.”
Alumna, BS in Nursing ’18; emergency department/trauma nurse
“After four years of nursing school I took on the challenge of working my first RN job in a high pace, trauma-driven emergency department close to my hometown in NJ. After some time I decided to chase my city dream and took a new position in one of New York City’s best hospitals. I happened to start this new job in February and my new emergency department quickly turned into a COVID war zone.
Facing a Pandemic, Two Years Out of Nursing School
“When I first signed up to be an emergency nurse I knew I was signing up to be prepared for any disaster. I never imagined a pandemic to break out in the span of my career, let alone two years out of school. I especially did not expect to take a new job in the epicenter of the American outbreak. It’s been a tough uphill battle trying to stabilize the most unstable. It’s even worse to see families split apart as they say what might be their last goodbye to their loved ones as they drop them off desperately to our ED. And it’s the worst when desperate family members call for updates and there’s nothing good to be said.
Honored and Humbled to be able to Make a Difference
“Nurses are leading this war. We’re at the forefront and spend the most time with the sickest patients. We’re the only interactions these people have in their most vulnerable time. I’m so humbled to have the opportunity to help make a difference when the world has had to come to a standstill.”