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YON 2020 Day 258: Ashley Rucci, BSN, RNC-NIC

A Neonatal Registered Nurse at Hillcrest Hospital, Ashley Rucci, BSN, RNC-NIC, shares her views about leadership and the many ways she continues to develop her own leadership skills.

Being a leader means different things to different people. To me, being a leader is not being a manager on the floor or being in a designated leadership role, but is being a resource for your unit and team. I have used a number of leadership skills in the NICU. These include acting as charge nurse on the floor, leading an education-based task force called "Get the Word Out" that educates staff on new updates and policies rolling out in the NICU, and by being a preceptor to new hires.

To be fulfilled at work is to have opportunities for growth. I feel that the Cleveland Clinic has provided those opportunities through leadership based classes, professional organizations, A3 continuous improvement projects, and the professional ladder. I am grateful for the opportunities I have been provided and have been able to take what I have learned back to my unit and colleagues. There are many different nursing roles. I love juggling a couple different ones and one of my favorites is definitely leadership.

Being involved in a professional organization has helped me become a better nurse in so many ways. I stay up to date on policy changes and protocol revisions by being in Neonatal Nursing Practice Council. I am a voice for the unit in Unit Council. By being an active member in the Product Evaluation Committee, I am able to bring back product changes and trials that are happening across the Cleveland Clinic system. Through this involvement, I am better prepared about what is occurring in my practice and can therefore be a voice for my unit. When my colleagues seek me out for resource information I feel empowered and know I am doing the right thing in my practice.

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