Nicholas Slogar, RN, MSN, started his nursing career as an LPN, which set him on a professional path to a graduate degree. Here he speaks about how he uses his leadership skills in his clinical practice while keeping his passion for nursing alive.
I have learned a lot in my nursing journey that began as an LPN. The next step was to seek an Associate’s degree and become a Registered Nurse. Later, I continued my education, adding first a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and then completing a program to earn a Master of Science in Nursing.
Through my years as a nurse, I developed leadership skills that I work to apply on a regular basis. Often I have the role of the charge nurse. As such, I have the responsibility for managing patient care, making patient assignments, resolving conflict when it occurs, while collaborating with physicians, nurses and all other departments within the hospital. A leader should be a role model and excel in teamwork. In order to have a good team, communication is vital. Effective communication allows for each member of the team to be on the same page so that the expectations of the day can be met.
As a leader, I need to have the ability to motivate others. A leader needs to recognize the individuals on the team and display a positive attitude, especially on days that are tough or busy. This positive attitude can become contagious. It is then that the team members reach their full potential, and put in the effort needed to provide the best care for our patients.
I enjoy talking with patients and like to use humor with them, but I know there is a time and place for this. Not all situations are helped by humor. Talking with patients allows them to know they are more than a bed space or a medical record number to me. Each is a unique person. Honest communication with patients gains the trust needed to provide excellent care and also allows us to enjoy one another throughout the shift. Without crossing boundaries, getting to know each person that I care for allows my nursing passion to stay alive!