Conduct an interview of a highly respected community nursing leader from a variety of healthcare settings; hospital administration, long term care administration, clinical nurse specialists, clinical educators and clinical supervisors/managers; nurse researchers, community health leaders; nurse educators, professors, nurse politicians and lobbyists. The focus of the interview will be on topics such as leadership style and practices, communication technique, responsibilities, vision for nursing and problems that nursing in general faces over the next 5 to 10 years.

Each student will be required to write a reflection on their interview experience.

These questions should be answered during your scheduled interview. Please be thorough in your write up of the answers. Please use a scholarly format.

This interview was conducted with Nancy Smith RN. BSN. Manager of PreOp Holding, Post Anesthesia Care Unit and Pre Anesthesia Testing.

1. Please tell me about your role, education and professional experience.

I obtained my BSN at UF in 1981. My career started at Shands Teaching Hospital in 1982, on a Med/Surg unit. My love for Oncology nursing then took me to St. Joseph’s in the Oncology Unit. Next was the Critical Care Program at TGH, where upon completion I worked in ICU for 2 years. I then transferred to Moffitt in 1991, to work Oncology Critical Care, and currently am Patient Care Manager of the PACU, Pre-Op Holding, and PAT units (since 2007).

2. How do you define leadership?

A strong component of leadership is focusing on employee’s strengths, not only weaknesses. This correlates with retaining top notch nurses. Reward and Recognition plays a part, and I helped develop a program at Moffitt (Honored Nurse Program) that fairly recognizes nurses on a point system. It has been successful and extrapolates the Nurse of the Year in 4 categories.

Good leadership leads to a caring work environment, and delegation plays a big role. Delegation, whether it’s for a patient safety initiative or tied into nurse satisfaction incentive, makes the employee’s feel secure about their practice and their ownership of their unit. This in turn makes them feel comfortable with their leaders. I rely on the frontline nurses to help navigate the unit, while abiding by institutional policies and ASPAN (American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses) Standards of Care and guidelines.

3. How do you Model the Way?

I believe I set a good example at Moffitt, when I was at the bedside and currently, as a leader. I have always been fair in all decision making, and honest in my relations to others. I don’t make hasty judgements without pulling in all concerned parties. I will defend patient safety and nurse integrity at all costs. I follow the rules, but have compassion for others and know life is not “black and white” and you have to be able to bend at times, for those in need. Understanding patient needs is key, and I make patient and family rounds to explore their thoughts and suggestions.

I was selected as the first winner of “Excellence in Nursing Management” award, in 2014. As surprised as I was, I now reflect back and believe it was due to my continual dedication to Moffitt and it’s mission, and my respectful attitude to all , that gave me the honors.

I have been committed to Moffitt patients for 25 years, and truly believe in the mission: “To contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer”. I am proud to work here and all of my Direct Reports and peers know it’s my passion.