Nursing forum to address nursing leadership

Catherine Robinson-Walker

Nurses and students attending the University of Houston-Victoria Spring Nursing Forum will learn what leadership attitudes and behaviors can lead to change in health care.

"Leading Valiantly in a Time of Change: Preparing Nurses to Lead the Change to Advance Health" is the topic of the eighth annual UHV Spring Nursing Forum. The free event will be from 8:30 to 11:45 a.m. April 24 in the Susan Ryon Davis Multi-Purpose Room at UH Sugar Land, 14000 University Blvd.

A continental breakfast will be served from 8 to 8:30 a.m.

The purpose of the forum is to enhance leadership qualities in executives, clinical nurses and Advanced Practice Nurses in all areas of health care management.

"We'll have participants list valiant leadership qualities, and then we will explore behaviors that demonstrate those qualities through evidenced-based practices," said Kathryn Tart, dean of the UHV School of Nursing. "Participants will be able to relate to leaders in their own lives and see firsthand how attitudes and behaviors can both help and prevent successful nursing leadership."

Judith Hafner, a UHV assistant clinical nursing professor, said the idea to focus on leadership stemmed from a 2010 Institute of Medicine report that recommended preparing nurses to lead change to advance health.

"Nurses have to take responsibility for their own growth with continuing education, and they should practice in positions that are suited for their degrees," Hafner said. "Advanced Practice Nurses should be in advanced practice roles."

The forum will provide evidence-based strategies so nurses can develop leadership skills.

"Leadership qualities will be discussed, but we also will spend time looking at behaviors that obstruct successful leadership," Hafner said. "Nursing leadership in health care is crucial to the well being of the communities where nurses live and work."

The featured speaker will be Catherine Robinson-Walker, president of The Leadership Studio, a health care leadership consulting and training program in Oakland, Calif. Her clients have included physician and nurse leaders, chief executives, management teams and other senior health care staff members.

Robinson-Walkers' most recent book, "Leading Valiantly in Healthcare," provides a successful approach for health care leaders at all levels to grow into successful, resilient leaders. She also wrote "Women and Leadership in Health Care: The Journey to Authenticity and Power."

"We're delighted Ms. Robinson-Walker could join us to share her expertise," Tart said. "She has been helping health organizations, commissions and academic groups for more than 25 years. I'm excited she will share her vast knowledge of leadership development in health care."

Nurses are encouraged to register for the forum early by visiting uhvconnect.org. Registration also is available at the door. Nursing contact hours have been applied for through the Texas Nurses Association, an accredited approver of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

The forum is sponsored by the Houston Endowment and UHV's Phi Chi chapter of the Honor Society of Nursing Sigma Theta Tau International. Phi Chi will be collecting items at the forum for Haiti residents.

In May, a group of pre-health students mentored by Phi Chi members will bring supplies and provide medical care to several Haitian communities.

"Five years after the catastrophic earthquake, many Haitians still struggle with staggering poverty, unemployment and poor social conditions, which include a lack of clean water and permanent housing," Hafner said. "The supplies we are collecting at the forum are desperately needed."

Items being collected are infant and children's vitamins and acetaminophen, children's ibuprofen, prenatal vitamins, adult vitamins with folic acid, antifungal creams, saline drops and cotton underwear for all ages.

For more information about the forum or collection drive, contact the UHV School of Nursing at 877-970-4848, ext. 4370, or nursing@uhv.edu.

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