9 Inspiring Quotes for Nurse Leaders from AONE 2014


The theme of this year’s American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) annual conference was “Inspiring Leadership.” Inspirational keynote speakers seemed to drive the message home for the CNOs and nurse managers in attendance. Below are some of the quotes that were heard repeated through the conference halls:

1. Robert Ballard, President, Institute for Exploration and Ocean Exploration Trust (best known for his 1985 discovery of the Titanic):

“Leadership is developing things in parallel and knowing when they will converge.”

“My greatest discovery is always the one I am about to make.”

“Life is like sailing, you never point the bough of the ship at the finish line. You tack to make the journey. Each day you tack to get the greatest reach given the prevailing winds of the day.”

2. Olympia Snowe, U.S. Senator (1994-2012) and author of Fighting for Common Ground: How We Can Fix the Stalemate in Congress:

“Nurses will play a fundamental role in shaping the new paradigm of healthcare.”

“I don’t know where this is going, but I am just going to follow the road.”

3. Benjamin Zander, conductor of the Boston Philharmonic, co-author of The Art of Possibility:

“Every time you open your mouth, it’s an opportunity for leadership.”

“There is no such thing as bad weather. Only inappropriate clothing.”

“Never say anything that can’t stand as the last thing you ever say to the person with whom you are speaking.”

4. Dr. Jason Hwang, co-author of The Innovator’s Prescription: A Disruptive Solution for Health Care:

“Disruptive innovation is not about pushing out the incumbent, it’s about giving the consumer a choice.”

We had a great dinner conversation with nursing leaders that were distilling their nursing staff’s best practices into an “essence of nursing” for their hospital and encouraging all their nurses to “get beyond the task” to see the patient and their job more holistically. Using the three c’s of caring, comfort and communication in daily practice added benefits to nurse-patient relationships.

Nursing leaders today are faced with a lot of changes in the healthcare industry. The most successful ones will guide their teams with inspiration and innovation to get their organizations through the disruptive transformation needed to meet the future challenges head on. Those who adapt and embrace change will rise above others who rely on tradition alone. These are the visionary hospital leaders that we love working with at Wellbe who have seen their ideal future and know how they are going to get there.

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