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Be accessible Nick Escobedo, MSN, RN, OCN, NE-BC, a millennial himself, believes the younger generation of nurses responds well to leaders who off er themselves as mentors and coaches rather than as superi- ors or bosses. Escobedo, a clinical manager in outpatient infusion services at


Houston Methodist Hospital, helps his staff members develop their careers. He often asks about their aspirations and concerns, and when a nurse has a question, he sees it as an opportunity to connect and teach. A millennial nurse recently asked how to fi nd funds for her governance committee, and he took the time to teach her what he knew about budgets and forecasting. “She is very engaged as a nurse and fi nds tremendous meaning in what she does,” he said. “I’m looking for professional opportunities to help her grow.” Escobedo is eager to develop leadership skills in millennials partly because his managers did the same for him. He had been working as a nurse for two years when his manager and clinical coordinator asked if he would be interested in being a charge nurse for a day when the unit was short-staff ed. “It was trial by fi re, but these two leaders had identifi ed something in me that was drawn to leadership even before I realized it myself,” he said. Their confi dence inspired Escobedo to seek additional training, chair a shared governance committee and eventually start working as a clinical manager. Millennials not only thrive when they are entrusted with leader-


Transformation pays off While shifting a long-standing hospital culture may seem like a daunting task, teaching nurses to appreciate RNs of diff erent generations can signifi cantly improve morale for everyone, Mayer said. The nurse turnover rate at her hospital dropped to 12% once the hospital started giving millennials more leadership opportuni- ties. When the hospital’s leaders started looking at the criteria for Magnet status, they realized that developing the nursing culture had paved the way for the application process. Nurses had become more involved in things like leadership, quality improvements and innovations. In March 2016, Rush Oak Park Hospital achieved Magnet recognition.


“They aren’t motivated to show up just to impress a boss. They want to feel like they are connected to a bigger mission than the job.”


At Midland Memorial Hospital in Texas, the changes in hospital


ship, but also when they have the freedom to move to new roles within a hospital, said Candace Smith, BSN, MPA, RN, NEA-BC, CNO at Manatee Memorial Hospital in Bradenton, Fla. “They generally like to move around rather than stay in one place for too long,” Smith said. She noticed that young nurses who were interested in moving to


a new unit were leaving when they couldn’t fi nd a new role within Manatee Memorial Hospital. In response, the hospital started a Grow Your Own program, which gave nurses the opportunity to request a transfer. Staff nurses who were interested, the majority of which were millennials, fi lled out their top three choices for new units. Those who met certain criteria — such as good attendance records and no discipline issues — moved to a new unit.


Be your own champion Smith urges millennials who are looking for new jobs to discern whether a hospital seems to be supportive of younger nurses. “Make sure you meet staff members of all levels and ask about the leadership style at the hospital,” she said. For nurses who are already employed, there are strategies to begin


building leadership skills even if the facility has not embraced the potential of millennials. “Get out of your own department from time to time,” Tye said. “Building rapport with people throughout the hospital will lead to new opportunities.” Tye also urges nurses to ask leaders important questions — even


on topics that may seem controversial or delicate, such as how reported hiring trends for nurses may aff ect their careers.


culture have had a direct impact on patient satisfaction. In early 2015, the Press Ganey scores in the ED were in the 1st percen- tile both nationally and relative to similar facilities. A millennial nurse led a team focused on boosting this score and implemented leadership rounding, staff recognition programs and improved patient communication practices, and the scores rose to the 90th percentile, Dent said. Progress like this confi rmed Dent’s decision to elevate and mentor


the millennial who led the team. The nurse, Brandon Bredimus, MSN, RN, CEN, CPEN, CNML, had been involved in a leadership council as a new nurse and developed rapport with leaders throughout the hospital. When the director of emergency services position became available, he applied on a whim. He received extremely high scores during the interviewing process and was the top candidate. Dent asked the ED managers and staff if they would support the decision to promote him to this position, and all resoundingly agreed. For the last three years, Dent has mentored Bredimus and sought other opportunities for him, such as a Nurse Director Fellowship off ered by the American Organization of Nurse Executives. “It took a lot of time and eff ort, but he’s been very successful,”


Dent said. “Millennials have to have a sense of purpose greater than themselves, and I’m really trying to create an environment that values this.” •


Heather Stringer is a freelance writer. TO COMMENT, email editor@nurse.com.


2016 • Visit us at NURSE.com 15


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