Helping Nurses "Live Smarter Not Harder" by Balancing the Mind, Body, Soul and Spirit

Archive for the ‘Nurses’ Category

Live Interview With Naomi D. Jones and Janine Kelbach

Entrepreneurship makes the world go around.  Technology that produced the computer

Naomi D. Jones. RN, MS, CRNI

changed the way we live and do business because of entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs.

Healthcare has evolved through entrepreneurs like Florence Nightingale who started the first nursing school and Lillian Wald who founded the Henry Street Settlement and Visiting Nurse Service of New York.

Entrepreneurs see a need and then use vision , resources and passion to fill that void.

Nurses are becoming entrepreneurs at an astounding rate and they are not only helping people, they are making money!
Here is an interview that I did with Janine Kelbach owner of WriteRN writing services and blogger for The Six Figure Nurse.  Here’s a glimpse into my journey as an entrepreneur.. …


What is the name of your company?

Consults Unlimited Inc. but I am known as the Life Coach RN

What exactly does your company do?

I provide coaching, mentoring, books and speaking presentations for Nursing Leaders. My goal is to help nurses who are in leadership balance their life purpose and their career. I teach nurses self-development principles and how to align their mind, body, soul and spirit so they will become better leaders of themselves and become more effective in leading others. When you understand and embrace yourself and your journey in life, you can attain fulfillment and joy while working in the profession as a nursing leader.

Why did you start this company?

The first reason for starting my own business is that being a nurse for over 35 years, I have had the opportunity to work with ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’ types of nursing leaders. The ones who were ‘good’ helped me grow in my career as a nurse, a woman and as a human being. Even though nursing is a caring profession, we often are not good to each other. Take the phrase ‘Nurses eat their Young’. I wanted to change that. I wanted to create a culture of compassion and kindness for the nurse who is on the front line of providing healthcare to the world. When the opportunity arose for me to step up to a leadership position, I made a conscious decision to do my best to positively impact my staff and my peers. During my 20 years as a nursing leader I was able to develop skills and strategies that not only made me successful in this endeavor but it allowed me to help other nursing leaders realize they could have the same results. I want to continue to make an impact and that’s why I decided to work with nursing leaders in this area as a business.  Read More. 


Top 5 Ways to Reach Our Goals

TOP 5 WAYS Bullseye



By Naomi D. Jones – The Life Coach RN

goals settingWe all have goals, both personal and professional yet so many go unrealized.  Why? Because we don’t have a systematic, foolproof way to set or meet our goals.   At times, lack of proven strategies affect the way we manage as nursing leaders.

Here are your 5 sure fire tips to define and reach your goals successfully and in a timely manner.  This systematic approach will answer the big questions Who, What, When, Why and How can you plan and reach your goals consistently.

  1. Who – The number 1 way to reach your goals is to build an awareness of who you are. What influences your choices and decisions? It is your intellect, emotions, experiences and spirituality.

DirectionYou are a unique and complex human being.  You can only make appropriate goals for yourself when you understand what makes you tick.

  1. What do you want? We all want a lot of things for a lot of different reasons. What you really want is satisfaction and fulfillment. Being aware of who you are will absolutely guide you in your ability to accurately plan for what will make you “happy.”
  1. DreamsWhen – Right Now! Don’t procrastinate. Procrastination is a stealer of dreams and a saboteur of accomplishing goals.  Don’t allow it to hold you back from doing what you need to do today. It’s all about renewing our commitment to ourselves!
  1. Why –Your very existence means you are part of a bigger plan. When you Excited Young Female Doctoroperate within your purpose in life, you will feel the joy because you will be setting, meeting and fulfilling your goals and your purpose for being here.  Jeremiah 29:11 ‘He knows the plans He has for you’.
  1. How – The secret strategy to reaching your goals is really found in personal development. Tapping into your personal power is the long lasting motivation you need.   Personal power is enhanced by two things: focus and connection.

Focus1Develop Focus Distraction is easy to come by in this day and time.  Cell phones, computers, social media and TV, just to name a few.  You have to prioritize and focus. One acronym for focus is Follow One Course Until Successful’.

Connect with like-minded people.   There are plenty of nay-sayers and sometimes they live within your own head.  Surrounding yourself with the people, activities and time to support you, will help you successfully reach your goals in record time and will relieve some of the burden in getting there.

PartnerAs a Life Coach, I am all about your success!  With over 35 years in nursing and 20 of those years in management, I have found the secret to enjoying my life and career.  I want to share those secrets with you.

If you are ‘sick and tired’ of being ‘sick and tired’ of not reaching your goals or not having a sense of joy and fulfillment about your life and/ or career, get in touch with me for a free 30-minute ‘Personal Power’ consultation. Use the link below to schedule your session.

Free Consultation*

I look forward to talking with you.  Here’s to your success!

Logo1Naomi D. Jones MS, RN, CRNI is a Registered Nurse, Certified Life Coach, Mentor, Author and Inspirational Speaker.

Mindset: The Key to Creating Balance

How do nurses create change, develop balance and relieve stress?

by Naomi D. Jones RN, MS, CRNI

scales-311504_1280Are nursing leadership and work life balance contradictory terms? Many nurses are wondering if this idea of a balanced life is fact or fiction. Many organizations state they promote “work life balance” as a recruiting tool. When speaking to those same nursing leaders, the feeling of balance seems to be elusive.  I had a great conversation this week with a fellow nurse friend of mine about how we attain equilibrium in our lives as nurse leaders. What became very clear early in our conversation is that managing our careers is difficult to say the least.  There are so many things you have to coordinate i.e. yourself, your staff, (direct and indirect reports), co-workers, your upper management team and don’t forget the work itself!   Then we have a “Life” that also needs management. Relationships with spouses, partners, children, grandchildren and parents pose their own challenges.  Handling personal finances is another factor where achieving balance necessitates confrontation.  In today’s economy, so many nurses I know work more than one job.  Nurses in management may experience some limits since they are salaried and already work long hours.

Balance vs Imbalance

In all of these arenas, balance is the key to having a great life!  If we don’t balance all of these areas well, we may become discouraged and lose our passion and joy in what we do which leads to burnout.

Burnout is the result of imbalance.  Frustration, disappointment and stress are encompassing nursing leaders in homecare, at the bedside and behind the desk (depending on where you work). Expectations of higher productivity, increasing demands to do more with less, the squeeze between staff and company goals intensifies the stress nurses feel. That stress makes for short tempers which can lead to episodes of disrespect and bullying which plague our profession.

Create Change

How do we create change in our lives, develop balance and relieve the stress from these situations?  Read More…

Help Me I’m Working for a Dummy!

Nurse_iStock_000018012746Small (2)Well, this may not be a nice way to put it but how often do we find ourselves working for someone who doesn’t appear to have the skills needed to be in their position. What are some clues that you might be working for an incompetent leader?

  •  When the staff doesn’t trust the information given by the leader or they don’t feel supported so they minimize the occasions they seek assistance from them.
  •  When they are unable to be a resource due to lack of critical skills relevant to the job.
  •  When the leader only uses or implements their own ideas with and/or without input from peers or staff.
  •  When the leader takes credit for the ideas and work of their subordinates or peers.
  •  When they do not have the ability to have vision. They live by the status quo. “We’ve always done it this way.”
  •  When the leader becomes impotent when making decisions. Do they ask for everybody’s opinions, and then accept nothing or do they just make decisions in a vacuum?

How do you work around an incompetent leader?

Do a reality check for yourself. How do you know it’s not your personal biases? Are you biased because you just don’t like them on a personal level?

Are you operating on your highest level in your present position? Do you have sound ideas?

Is it possibly a lack of understanding of the leader’s job requirements?

Here’s a question. Is this boss impeding your progress with the organization? Do you have opportunities to bring ideas to the forefront? If so, you must be creative in getting your work seen by others within an organization.

If your boss is not impeding your ability to influence change and progress then “just let it go”. Be content in your ability to influence where you are.

But if you want to make a difference on a higher level on a bigger playing field then you need to be seen and heard. Volunteer for committees or special projects and network with other leaders within the organization so your work can be seen.

Don’t bad mouth your incompetent leader to others. If you’re seen as a backstabber others won’t be so quick to put you in a higher position of authority for fear that you may do the same to them. Let your work speak for itself. Be willing to take those risks and have a plan B. An exit strategy, if you will.

The truth is mediocre leaders exist on all levels. The “Peter Principle” is real. People are often promoted to the level of their incompetency. So sometimes, your boss may have an incompetent boss and so on. If the people above them are also mediocre leaders, you still may not be seen, heard, or recognized for your work. It could be that your next strategy will need to be that you work somewhere else where your talents might be appreciated.

Another strategy to be sure your ideas are heard and implemented is when you are your own boss! Entrepreneurship is the truest form of true leadership. It’s where you can line up your values with the strengths of your leadership abilities. You must be willing to take on the work. There’s no complaining about the boss in this line of work.

So how do you survive the incompetent boss? Work with them. Work around them, or best yet, work without them and be your own boss! Good luck!

For help becoming the leader you want to be contact Naomi for a free consultation and download “Living the Legacy of Leadership Day by Day”.

About Naomi

Naomi is a Registered Nurse, Certified Life Coach and Motivational Speaker. She is owner and CEO of Consults Unlimited Inc., a Professional Life Coaching company. She is known as the Life Coach RN. As a Life Coach she specializes in helping nursing leadership “Live and Work Smarter not Harder!” With over 30 years of nursing experience, she has been in management for over 19 years. For more information about coaching with Naomi, visit

It’s all about you! But it’s not about you!

Excited Young Female DoctorWe are taught as children that we should not be self-absorbed. As nurses, we generally have an exaggerated sense of just the opposite. Nursing is the profession that encompasses patience, compassion, empathy and caring. We are judged by how these characteristics show up in our actions to our patients and each other. How often have you heard a patient or another nurse say, “Oh! She’s such a good nurse!” It’s usually when a nurse is exhibiting one or more of these qualities. If we as nurses believe these are good qualities to exhibit, why don’t we model them for ourselves?

As nurses, we came to this profession because we felt we have something to give to others. We want to help people live to their fullest potential. For example, we help our patients live to their fullest potential by helping them manage their health. As nurses, we live our highest potential by doing the work we do. But what about us as individuals? I can’t tell you how often I’ve had conversations with colleagues that end with, “I don’t have work life balance or time for myself.” Yet we take extra time we have and give it to other people.

This self-deprivation philosophy has to stop! Why are nurses burnt out? Because we are trying to give what we don’t have! We need to show ourselves patience, compassion, empathy, and kindness. Making yourself a priority is essential to preventing burnout. Here are three basic strategies for getting your whole life balanced.

1. Take inventory of what you are doing with your time. Are you running to and fro with increasing job requirements, deadlines, children’s activities and family obligations? STOP ! Take a moment and just list them on a piece of paper. Reflect on what you do over one week’s time. What do you see?

2. Begin introducing yourself to yourself! Write down the things you like to do (You may have to think back before children or the job). Write those things down, no matter how small they might be.

3. Begin the reconciliation. In order for us to be our best and be complete, we must reconcile our mind, body, soul and spirit. Just like we reconcile medications, we need to match up our total being with life’s demands. Take a look at list #1 acknowledging all of the things you do for others. Then eliminate a task entirely, share the responsibility of it, or delegate it to someone else (possibly the person you are doing it for). Next, begin to transition one thing you enjoy from list #2 into your life on a regular basis. Continue this process until you achieve balance.

Patients look to nurses as their advocates. As nursing leaders, your staff looks to you for guidance and care. Your families look to you as a resource for everything that goes on in their lives. If you REALLY care about them, you absolutely must put yourself first. You will be able to improve patient care by improving your self-care. You will improve the quality of your life if you take the time to advocate and care for yourself. YOU ARE WORTH IT!

For more tips on how to put yourself first contact Naomi for a free consultation and download “Living the Legacy of Leadership Day by Day”.

About Naomi

Naomi is a Registered Nurse, Certified Life Coach and Motivational Speaker. She is owner and CEO of Consults Unlimited Inc., a Professional Life Coaching company. She is known as the Life Coach RN. As a Life Coach she specializes in helping nursing leadership “Live and Work Smarter not Harder!” With over 30 years of nursing experience, she has been in management for over 19 years. For more information about coaching with Naomi, visit

Own The Tone

Nursing CapMy first position as a Director of Nursing in a home care agency had me ill equipped to manage staff. As a new person, I heard a lot of, “I don’t do that!” “That’s her job!” Others would pull me to the side to say, “They did that for the last director” or “The last director did this.” I learned quickly that I needed to set the tone for my own position and how I would handle issues. I learned that it is the most important factor for effective leadership that a leader sets the tone. This is true of new managers and seasoned managers who may be taking on new staff, or may just realize that what they’re doing just isn’t working.

The way you dress, keep your office space, speak and handle yourself professionally are all involved in setting the atmosphere in which you work. You set the tone of how change is accepted by yourself and your staff. You set the tone of how you will be treated by your peers and co-workers. You set the tone on how your staff will treat each other.

Three tips to help you set the tone at your workplace:

  1. Learn your job description and your staff’s job descriptions (if you have staff). If you don’t have staff know the job descriptions of the people you will work closely with. You really need to know what everyone does so you can see how the different positions interact to see the big picture.
  2.  Survey – Speak with and observe your upper direct reports, other managers, staff and ancillary staff to understand the culture of the organization. Every organization has its own unique culture. Sometimes different units will have their own sub-cultures. This is to avoid being a “bull in a china shop” or be “run over” by some bulldozer type personalities.
  3. Lead – Lead with confidence. Once you understand processes and culture, don’t be afraid to implement new things. You are the fresh eyes and with due diligence most likely have very good ideas because you haven’t been totally incorporated into the culture. Don’t be afraid to take calculated risks or make mistakes. As long as you learn from them, you will continue to grow.

Let’s talk about it. Join my Facebook Group The Leaders Journey Network.

About Naomi
Naomi is a Registered Nurse, Certified Life Coach and Motivational Speaker. She is owner and CEO of Consults Unlimited Inc., a Professional Life Coaching company. She is known as the Life Coach RN. As a Life Coach she specializes in helping nursing leadership “Live and Work Smarter not Harder!” With over 30 years of nursing experience, she has been in management for over 19 years. For more information about coaching with Naomi, visit

Don’t Throw the Baby Out With the Bath Water

Nurse_Degree_iStock_000001078215Small (2)Presently, the push is to have entry-level nursing be the Baccalaureate degree in Nursing; however, we must be careful not to “throw the baby out with the bath water.”

As I fly back from Colorado, I thought of the men and women who paved the way to today’s aviation system. Where it used to take months in covered wagons to get from the east coast to the west coast, I can fly that route now in less than 6 hours. Each journey has its own challenges, risks and successes. Our nursing history is full of struggle and growth. The latest trends really come out of the past. “There’s nothing new under the sun,” just different circumstances and situations.

Some nurses today are going straight through school, obtaining advanced degrees without ever working in any entry-level healthcare positions. Many of the concepts being promoted in the baccalaureate programs today are built on the same concepts we learned years ago. With changes in technology the circumstances have changed but the patient needing disease management remains the same – for example – electronic medical records versus copying the medication Kardex every Monday by hand.

My journey reflects what some might call the “covered wagon” approach. Originally, I became a Home Health Aide. To my surprise, I enjoyed being able to play a role in my patients’ healing and care. My journey from HHA to LPN, to RN, to Master’s degree took almost 25 years (covered wagon). I learned along the way, working in hospitals, homecare, hospice, school health, managed care and other healthcare facilities how to have a balanced, practical view of my formal education. My history became an asset to my nursing practice.

When specialties became Queen, advanced degrees in Community Heath, Health Administration, and Health Management were encouraged and sought after. So many seasoned nurses are now being told that our advanced degrees don’t matter because it isn’t the “right one” in nursing specifically. This is a recipe for disaster in the nursing profession as a whole. Is the nurse who obtained her baccalaureate in nursing without ever working in the field more of an asset to the profession than someone who built upon their nursing degree with continuing education and practical experience?

I am an advocate for education and for nurses. We must be very careful as we are forcing many nurses out of the profession by requiring that they return to school – some just prior to retirement. Asking them to incur expenses that could affect their very ability to retire is a big problem. We may be actually hurting the very patients and profession we are trying to help.

The truth is both nurses are of value to our profession. What was old has become new again. Florence Nightingale formalized education of nurses and laid the foundation for ‘evidenced based practice.’ Mentorship is one of the big things missing in our profession especially concerning Nurse Leaders. We are at risk of repeating the failures of the past when we decrease the value of our history. The people who pioneered this land in covered wagons paved the way for those who are flying now. The wise ones in nursing will look back, grab the baby and then throw out the bath water. We are responsible for the safe transitioning of our profession. Strategic grandfathering is one way to create a practical transference of nursing knowledge.

Have the changing requirements for nursing education affected you positively or negatively? Is it really the type of degree that makes a nurse a better practitioner?

Let’s talk about it. Join my Facebook Group The Leaders Journey Network.

About Naomi
Naomi is a Registered Nurse, Certified Life Coach and Motivational Speaker. She is owner and CEO of Consults Unlimited Inc., a Professional Life Coaching company. She is known as the Life Coach RN. As a Life Coach she specializes in helping nursing leadership “Live and Work Smarter not Harder!” With over 30 years of nursing experience, she has been in management for over 19 years. For more information about coaching with Naomi, visit

2014 Resolutions – Really?

????????????????????????????????????????It seems like only yesterday we were anticipating 2014 as a New Year. We made resolutions and desired new beginnings like we always do. Well, March is here and I am here to remind you that your goals are NOT unreachable, and there’s no better time than the present to start transforming your life! Forget Resolutions! Make your New Year’s start today.

2014 is the year of Transcendence. This is the year to take your life and career to the next level. To transcend is to rise above, outdo or exceed in excellence.

Before you can transcend you need to begin with transformation.  As you transform (undergo a change in form, appearance or character) and grow internally, you must value that change.  Allow it to motivate and inspire you to take your game to the next level. As we take this time to reflect on 2013 and plan for new things to come, let me share with you how to identify and reach your goals for 2014.

Mind, body, soul and spirit. The four aspects that direct every phase of our lives. Everything begins with a thought. Mindfulness is the place to begin your transformation. Think about your future.  I mean really THINK about it.  Take time to look at how, who, what and where you spend your time.  This will allow you to assess and understand how certain things fit into your life purpose and what doesn’t.  Taking an assessment of your life is the first step in developing the mindfulness necessary to begin the process of transformation.

As a life coach, I help many nursing leaders begin their transformation and begin to reach their goals by asking these few questions.

  • Where have I been?

Many times we don’t ask this question. Sometimes we want to forget our past. If you don’t know and understand your past, you will repeat it over and over again.  This may be okay for the good things you’ve done, although there is no benefit in repeating those choices that have a negative impact in our lives. Insanity is repeating things that have a proven negative outcome and expecting a positive result.

  • Where am I at in my life right now?

Are you growing in your career or as an individual? Are you experiencing satisfaction, fulfillment? Do you even think it is possible? Assessing your potential for fulfillment will help propel you toward your purpose.  Change isn’t easy; it may even be scary or painful and, believe me, it’s rarely comfortable. If you are very comfortable where you are, it may be an indication that it’s time to make a change.

  • Who is in my life right now?

We need to look at the people in our lives. Are they promoting or hindering our goals? When we are growing personally and/or professionally, everyone will not, or cannot, support you. In order to move forward you may have to leave some people behind. By letting go, you make room for new relationships and experiences. The saying goes: “if you are the smartest person in the room you need to change the room.”

  • Why am I doing what I’m doing?

What challenges you? What motivates you, inspires you or brings you joy (an inside job)? These are very deep questions and you really need some time to focus on them.

  • Do I have a specific goal?

This is actually a question that will begin to lead you on the path toward your purpose. Without specific goals we wander aimlessly. There are so many paths to choose in life and our careers.  Sometimes we don’t make a choice for fear of choosing the wrong thing.  Without purposeful decision-making, you open the door for others to decide for you.  Your children, spouses, parents, bosses and peers will choose for you according to their own agendas or else outside circumstances will dictate your path.  “A man who procrastinates in his choosing will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.” *

As nursing leaders we often feel we are last on the list of priorities.  I believe this leads to frustration, overwhelm and disappointment in our careers and personal lives. When will you begin to implement an assessment on your life?  Here are a few tips to get you started:

In order to transform your mind, you must make time to spend with yourself.  Put the children to bed early for a few evenings. Take yourself to dinner alone.

Have a spa day. For those who can’t see themselves doing this, you can think about it before work or after work on the bus or in your car before you go home.

If you really want something bad enough, you WILL make time for it.

Transcendence. 2014 is the year of transcendence. The year to take action and have your life and career exceed your expectations. Transform, then Transcend! Aligning your mind, body, soul and spirit to discover your purpose. It’s about your legacy.

What will you do to make 2014 your year of transformation into transcendence?

*― Hunter S. Thompson, The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern

Gentleman, 1955-1967

About Naomi

Naomi is a Registered Nurse, Certified Life Coach and Motivational Speaker. She is owner and CEO of Consults Unlimited Inc., a Professional Life Coaching company. She is known as the Life Coach RN. As a Life Coach she specializes in helping nursing leadership “Live and Work Smarter not Harder!” With over 30 years of nursing experience, she has been in management for over 19 years. For more information about coaching with Naomi, visit

I’m Banking on Nursing Leaders

ImageRecently I went to a bank to make some changes to my accounts. My banker, Jonathan, set out to help me. It was such a pleasure to be able to explain my needs and have him translate the vision of what I wanted my money to do for me. What was really obvious to me was that Jonathan knew what he was doing. He was well versed in the products that the bank offered. He used some critical thinking to determine what products would work for me and he was adept in applying that knowledge. He helped me set up my phone so I could bank by phone. He even went the extra mile to test the apps to make sure they worked before I left the bank.

This experience had me think about healthcare and nursing today. Many nurses, especially the “boomer” nurses, don’t like it, but healthcare is changing to a customer satisfaction, cost containment driven business.

Hospitals, nursing homes, hospices and home cares are now going to have their patient satisfaction surveys published. Poor scores will no doubt lead to difficulty developing healthcare partner relationships and may lead to decreased reimbursement and loss of revenue.

As nursing leaders, today we have to accept that things are changing. As leaders within healthcare organizations, we are becoming responsible for those patient satisfaction surveys along with patient outcomes. First, we need to understand what’s happening in healthcare today and what the trends are. Secondly, we need to understand the products. Affordable Care Act, Medicare/Medicaid/ insurance regulations, evidence based practice and your Nurse Practice Act, to name a few.

Lastly, like my banker Jonathan, nursing leaders need to be adept in applying the knowledge they have. Some long for the days when “Nursing was Nursing” but those times had their challenges also. I remember medications had to be copied each week by hand onto a Kardex (dating myself), now we have electronic medical records that can be shared across the continuum.

Nostalgia has its place. Today we need to operate in the style of servant leadership, where you are the facilitator and translator of the vision.

Mastering balance between your mind, body, soul and spirit is the key to effective leadership. Get the tools, understand the mindset of the big picture, and apply the knowledge with confidence and finesse. This will allow you to do your job well. Your staff, patients and organizations will experience the best nursing has to offer, YOU, the nursing leader. To remain successful and find joy in your work you must secure resources, find a mentor and have a safe place where you can be renewed and find support. This is essential in mastering your legacy of leadership. After all, you can’t give what you don’t have!

How are you navigating the changing world of managing staff in the quickly changing healthcare scene?

About Naomi

Naomi is a Registered Nurse, Certified Life Coach and Motivational Speaker. She is owner and CEO of Consults Unlimited Inc., a Professional Life Coaching company. She is known as the Life Coach RN. As a Life Coach she specializes in helping nursing leadership “Live and Work Smarter not Harder!” With over 30 years of nursing experience, she has been in management for over 19 years. For more information about coaching with Naomi visit

Does The End Justify The Means?

The_End_iStock_000011280905Small (2)As parents, we can often become defined by our children and family life. Empty nest syndrome is when some parents go into depression after their kids leave home. At some point those parents identified the tasks associated with raising a family and related those tasks to who they were as individuals.

As nurse’s leaders, at times, we see our jobs as sets of tasks. We begin to believe we are not just judged by our tasks but feel we personally defined by the  outcomes of those tasks. Some even say they don’t want to retire because they feel they’ll die if they’re not working – mostly because they don’t have anything to look forward to (Empty nest working syndrome).

Nursing leaders are sometimes  fooled into thinking they are defined by the outcomes of certain tasks. In nursing management, we are expected to “produce” good patient outcomes, keep staff motivated and focused on the mission of the organization. What we often don’t remember, is that we are dealing with a variable product… People.

People come in all shapes, sizes, colors, backgrounds cultures and issues. This is true of our patients, our staff and yes, even you. This is why you can’t be defined by the outcomes. I am not talking about accountability. For instance, Mr. A needs a certain medication. It’s your job to see that he takes that medication. If you are tied to that outcome, that he MUST take that medication, you may consider forcing him to take it (before you say “unbelievable”, look at the history before patient’s rights came into being). The belief becomes, “It will reflect badly on me if he doesn’t take the pill.” Whose decision and whose outcome is it really?

If as a nursing leader you are tasked with productivity of staff (and you are tied to the outcome), you may inadvertently put them in a position of working under dangerous conditions. The leader that needs to exert high levels of control and does not allow much input from anyone else is a leader who is trying to control the outcome. These leaders usually feel the need to penalize when errors are made instead of teaching because they feel defined by the outcome. They see problems and solutions as their own. These leaders perpetuate the mantra, “nurses eat their young.”

Your priority, as a nursing leader, needs to focus on the process not the outcome. As a leader, we are responsible to define the process. The process is what anyone with the basic skills could follow and keep them on the path to be successful. If you focus on the process, you won’t focus so much on the individual tasks at hand. You can help find the solution and embrace the outcome. It doesn’t become all about you.

An effective leader will strive for the expected positive outcome always keeping the variables in mind, “the people factor” and the process. Learning and growing is a process. Mistakes are inevitable. We can teach other how to minimize mistakes and learn from them through analyzing, implementing and adhering to processes. On the practical level, when things go wrong, following the process will help you identify gaps in learning and practice of your staff. It will eliminate the need for you to be right.

When nursing leaders remain personally detached from the outcome and focus on the process they become better able to help other nurses without being emotional or reactive. When we do this we will all be less judgmental and provide consistency for those we lead.

What situations have you dealt with where the means did or did not justify the end result?

About Naomi

Naomi is a Registered Nurse, Certified Life Coach and Motivational Speaker. She is owner and CEO of Consults Unlimited Inc., a Professional Life Coaching company. She is known as the Life Coach RN. As a Life Coach she specializes in helping nursing leadership “Live and Work Smarter not Harder!” With over 30 years of nursing experience, she has been in management for over 19 years. Her nursing practice includes bedside nursing, Hospital, SNF, Homecare and other areas of healthcare. Credentials include a Master’s Degree in Health Services Administration, several certifications, military service and work with several community and professional organizations. For more information about coaching with Naomi visit