Maternal-child health academy: A rewarding leadership experience

By RNL Editors | 12/16/2015

Academy helps Canadian nurse achieve her leadership goal.

Charlotte LiCharlotte Li, BScN, RN, is passionate about the art of nursing. She enjoys establishing relationships with patients, being with patients and families during vulnerable times, and working with other health care professionals to improve health outcomes.
 
Her work as a neonatal intensive care unit nurse at Surrey Memorial Hospital for Fraser Health Authority in British Columbia, Canada, provides many opportunities to experience the art of nursing.
 
“I love bedside nursing,” Li says. “I think it is a very special career that connects people from all walks of life.”
 
When she was a new graduate nurse, one of her professional goals was to increase her leadership skills. With that in mind, she applied to participate in the 2012-13 Maternal-Child Health Nurse Leadership Academy (MCHNLA), a program presented by the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) in partnership with Johnson & Johnson Corporate Contributions.
 
MCHNLA was instrumental in achieving her leadership goal.
 
“The academy boosted my confidence, taught me leadership skills, helped me establish connections, and, most importantly, allowed me to implement a leadership project in my unit,” Li says.
 
Neonatal Nursing Handbook by Charlotte LiFor her leadership project, she created a neonatal nursing handbook for her unit. The pocket-size resource guide she developed provides a quick reference for describing neonatal conditions and identifying appropriate assessments, along with nursing tips.
 
“With the continual expansion of our hospital’s NICU, increase of patient acuity, and hiring more RNs, extensive education and training are anticipated for new and current staff,” Li says. “The neonatal nursing handbook serves to bridge the knowledge gaps between inexperienced and experienced staff and to promote consistency in practice, which could potentially lead to better patient outcomes.”
 
She has introduced her handbook to other sites within the health authority. In addition to creating the handbook, she has taken two leadership courses offered by her hospital, precepted two nursing students, and been involved in three leadership committees.
 
MCHNLA: A rewarding experience
Li recommends that other nurses challenge themselves by applying for the Maternal-Child Health Nurse Leadership Academy. “It is a very rewarding experience,” she says. “It opens up doors and opportunities to effect change in a greater audience. People at the academy have also inspired me to continue to professionally grow and develop my career as a nurse.
 
“I have met many amazing people who I’ve established a friendship and bond with, and also people who I look up to and continue to motivate me to better my nursing career.”
 
The purpose of the Maternal-Child Health Nurse Leadership Academy is to develop the leadership skills of maternal-child health nurses and nurse midwives who work in a variety of health care settings across North America. The academy prepares these nurses for effective interprofessional team leadership as they strive to improve the quality of health care for underserved childbearing women and children up to 5 years old.
 


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