Creating the Possibility While Managing Reality

Karen was a competent director of a core service unit at a major health care institution. She was well regarded by the unit’s nurse managers, educators and charge nurses. Karen reported to the Vice President of Nursing, who recognized the complexity and challenges inherent in Karen’s unit. These included managing a diverse staff and developing collaborative relationships with sometimes prickly physicians who brought in many patients and significant revenue. Karen’s VP decided to support Karen in her effort to successfully manage the unit by sending her to an outside leadership program and hiring an executive coach for customized professional guidance.

Karen benefited greatly from her organization’s recognition and support of her developmental needs. But she also encountered a hard-to-surmount difficulty. As she discovered new approaches and possibilities for her unit, the unit’s day-to-day demands grew even more significant. Using the word “overwhelming” to portray them, Karen painted a verbal picture filled with compelling—and sometimes competing— responsibilities and tasks. She described the hospital’s circumstances in equally convincing terms, noting an overflowing ER and at-capacity occupancy. Karen was not whining. She was depicting realities that were hard to navigate…Read The Full Article

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