Nursing Leadership

Being a leader in your facility, although sometimes overwhelming, is a rewarding role that allows you to touch the lives of many people including your residents, their families, and, of course, your staff. Your efforts and attitude impact everything from resident outcomes, to survey results, to workplace culture in your facility. Find resources that explore topics such as leadership styles, strategies for successfully managing staff, and more to support you in your important role.  

  • Guide to a Successful Meeting Tool

    By AADNS - June 09, 2020
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  • Q&A: What is the reporting structure for nurse leadership in your facility?

    By Sarah Bruner, BSN, RN, Administrator of Nursing Marshalltown, IA - May 27, 2020
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  • Support and Motivate Staff Through the COVID-19 Pandemic

    By Caralyn Davis, Staff Writer - May 13, 2020

    Directors of nursing services (DNSs) and other managers can support and motivate staff in two critical ways: individually and organizationally. Taking the following steps can help staff deal with the anxiety of caring for residents in a pandemic:


    Teach staff how to help each other—and themselves


    Judy Davidson, DNP, RN, FCCM, FAAN, a nurse scientist at UC San Diego Health and co-chair of the Strength Through Resiliency Task Force at the American Nurses Association, offers the following two stress reduction techniques that DNSs can use themselves and teach staff as well:


    * Tap Out and Take a Lap. “If you see someone at work whose anxiety level is rising, you figuratively tap them out and invite them to take a lap of the unit with you. A lap of the unit usually takes about one minute, and that is all it takes to do this stress reduction technique,” says Davidson. “While walking, you coach them through a little breathwork. If they are really panicked, just do four breaths in and four out. Doing that for five cycles will add up to a minute—which is all it takes to break the stress response that the person is under and ground them again so they can get back into the game.”


    If the person isn’t totally panicked, “they may be able to tolerate a more complex breathing pattern, four-seven-eight: Breathe in for four, hold for seven, and breathe out for eight. Four to five repetitions of that will give you a minute that you have walked around the unit, and now both you and your colleague are feeling better,” says Davidson. “I recommend anyone to do that for helping out in-the-moment stress.”

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  • Q&A: Is overseeing the Therapy department within the scope of the DNS position?

    By Courtney Simpson MBA, BSN, RN, DNS-CT, RAC-CT, RAC-CTA - May 13, 2020
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  • AHRQ COVID-19 Articles: Peer Support/Crisis Communications and Helping LTC Settings Deal With the Pandemic (4/20)

    By AHRQ - April 28, 2020

    COVID-19: Peer support and crisis communication strategies to promote institutional resilience.

    Wu AW, Connors C, Everly Jr GS. Ann Intern Med. 2020

    To address the negative psychological impacts faced by healthcare workers during the COVID-19 crisis, the authors of this commentary recommend three strategic principles for healthcare institutions responding to the pandemic:

    ·  Encourage leadership to focus on resilience

    ·  Ensure that crisis communication provides both information and empowerment

    ·  Create a continuum of staff support within the organization to address a surge in mental health concerns among healthcare workers.


    Unprecedented solutions for extraordinary times: helping long-term care settings deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Gaur S, Dumyati G, Nace DA, et al.  Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2020

    This commentary discusses the provision of safe care in long-term care settings during the COVID-19 pandemic. The authors propose the following measures to ensure the safety of long-term care patients:

    ·  facilities should only accept patients with COVID-19 infections if they can provide effective airborne isolation;

    ·  patients recovering from COVID-19 need to have 2 negative tests on 2 consecutive days, as well as remain fever-free without mediation for at least 48 hours and not require ventilatory support that generates aerosols;

    ·  facilities should screen potential admissions for typical and atypical signs and symptoms of COVID-19, and;

    ·  facilities that are currently COVID-19 naïve should not accept any new admissions for whom there may be a concern for COVID-19.

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  • ASPR TRACIE Disaster Behavioral Health Self Care for Healthcare Workers Modules (4/20)

    By ASPR TRACIE - April 01, 2020

    Module 1: Compassion Fatigue and Secondary Traumatic Stress Identification for Healthcare Providers

    Module 2: Organizational Wellness From the Top: Stress Mitigation and Work Satisfaction for Healthcare Providers

    Module 3: Cognitive Tools for Mitigating Compassion Fatigue and Secondary Traumatic Stress

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  • 4 Simple Ways to Support Staff Retention

    By Jessica Kunkler, MA, Staff Writer - February 11, 2020

    One in four nursing assistants and one in five home health aides report that they are actively looking for another job. That’s a lot of unhappy employees.

    This turnover comes at a high price for facilities. It costs an estimated $2,200 to replace a nursing assistant or home care worker, according to the Recruitment and Retention Guide For Employers by PHI (formerly the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute).

    Moreover, frustration in the workplace can be contagious; unsatisfied staff members have a negative impact on residents and their peers alike.

    There are books and guides devoted to programs for staff retention. Better hiring processes, rewards systems, and staff training can yield positive returns for facilities—but overhauling an entire program can feel daunting for busy nurse managers.

    Here are four simple ways to promote staff retention, starting right where you are.

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  • Advance Care Planning: Two Recent Studies (11/19)

    By AHRQ - November 12, 2019

    Advance Care Planning: An Exploration of the Beliefs, Self-Efficacy, Education, and Practices of RNs and LPNs.

    Objective: This study compared the advance care planning (ACP)-related beliefs, sense of self-efficacy, education, and practices of RNs and LPNs.



    Advance Care Planning in Skilled Nursing Facilities: A Multisite Examination of Professional Judgments.

    BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Lack of advance care planning (ACP) may increase hospitalizations and impact the quality of life for skilled nursing facility (SNF) residents, especially African American residents who may be less likely to receive ACP discussions. We examined the professional judgments of SNF providers to see if race of SNF residents and providers, and risk for hospitalization for residents influenced professional judgments as to when ACP was needed and feelings of responsibility for ensuring ACP discussions.

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  • Do You Embody Inspirational Leadership?

    By Cody Campbell, LNFA - August 21, 2019

    AADNS member, Cody Campbell, LNFA, provides insight into his take on inspirational leadership as the key to being a successful nurse leader and how directors of nursing can inspire and lead their teams.

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  • PDPM At-a-Glance Tool

    By AANAC - August 07, 2019
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  • Advice for New Directors of Nursing

    By AADNS - July 23, 2019

    Your facility needed a new director of nursing (DON), so you stepped up to the plate to give it your best shot. You went through the selection process, feel confident in your leadership skills, and are ready to lead a team to success.

    But you have a small confession to make: you’re not sure where to start!

    Being a new DON can be challenging, so here is some advice to get you going.

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  • QIO-Developed Trauma-Informed Care Resources (7/19)

    By MQIO Program - July 15, 2019

    Purpose of these resources This is a comprehensive, but not all inclusive, list of resources that may be helpful for nursing homes as they work to ensure that residents who are trauma survivors receive culturally competent, traumainformed care in accordance with professional standards of practice and accounting for residents’ experiences and preferences in order to eliminate or mitigate triggers that may cause re-traumatization of the resident (per §483.25(m) requirement that will be implemented beginning November 28, 2019).

    Who should use these resources? Nursing home leadership teams may assign responsibility to a person, such as a social worker, to review the resources below, identifying those that might be helpful for a) leadership, staff, and/or resident/family education, or b) behavioral/emotional care policy or program development or revision. 

    Why this is important? The included resources provide information that will help nursing homes to build capacity among interdisciplinary team members to deliver holistic resident care, being sensitive to how a range of experiences over the resident’s life may relate to their current physical, emotional, and behavioral health status. Trauma is common throughout human experience, and we need to respond with empathy and understanding. Providing trauma informed care can help staff to avoid re-victimization of those who have survived trauma and create an environment where the individual feels safe and secure. 

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  • CDC Infection Control Interactive Graphic Novel for Environmental Services (EVS) Personnel (6/19)

    By CDC - June 19, 2019

    EVS personnel play a critical role in preventing the spread of germs and healthcare-associated infections

    EVS and the Battle Against Infection” is an interactive graphic novel illustrating the important role of EVS personnel in the prevention of healthcare-associated infections. The online version of the training tool features real-world infection prevention and control scenarios and allows participants to choose options that affect the outcome of the story. 

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  • When Florence Hit: What to Do Before, During, and After an Emergency

    By Jessica Kunkler, MA - February 26, 2019

    In September 2018, Wendy DeCarvalho, RN, DNS-CT, QCP, and her team watched as Hurricane Florence approached their facility, which is located just two hours from the Carolina coast, nestled in a rural area in the flood zone. They banded together to keep their residents, staff, and families safe.

    Here’s her advice, based on that firsthand experience, for how to handle emergencies before, during, and after they happen.

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  • Nurse Leader Reference Sheet

    By AADNS - February 12, 2019
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