One way to stand out as a leader in your organization is to make a positive change in your unit. It may not be easy, but changes can make a drastic impact on patient care and staff satisfaction. If you are thinking about making a move into leadership in the future, bringing about change is a great way to set yourself up for job advancement.

First, you need a problem to fix. Identify an issue that is creating problems for staff or patients alike. It really should not be too hard to find an issue. What are staff or patients complaining about? What practice doesn’t make sense because it is overly complicated and inefficient? Brainstorm some solutions to consider.

Next, share some well thought out ideas with your manager or member of your leadership team. Create a SBAR (situation, background, action, recommendation) to give them that will outline the problem and what you’re going to do about it. If you have an idea that your manager supports, you could get dedicated paid time to work on the issue.

Once you garner support from your manager or another leader, you must take a deep dive into the problem so you can determine potential solutions. You’d be surprised that many fixes or solutions are cost-effective meaning they require little to no money to implement a change. After developing a potential solution, you will want to clearly articulate the potential impact this change would have. In other words, you have to understand why this change is important. This will help you gain buy-in from staff when implementing that change.

Lastly, you want to do a pilot test or test the change. This is the do or die time for the proposed solution. You will create data and implement that change to see if your solution solved the problem or not. Were patients more satisfied with their care? Did a process take less time? Did fewer errors occur? If the data didn’t change, you will have to go back to the drawing board and determine a more effective solution. If you made a drastic impact, then you should make the change permanent.

When you go through the process and make a permanent change, add this to your resume and CV! These are great experiences to reference in job interviews. The difference you make for your team and workplace will set yourself apart and can also benefit your day to day work as well as your future opportunities.

Tyler Faust, MSN, RN

Tyler Faust obtained his BSN from Winona State University and a Master's degree in Nursing and Organizational Leadership from Winona State University. He has worked at Mayo Clinic for the past 6 years and is in the process of transitioning from a staff nurse to a nurse manager. Tyler is passionate about professional development, nursing leadership, and strategic thinking.

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