Keynote Speakers Answer the Call to Lead
The Feb. 5 conference featured three dynamic keynotes from nursing leaders across the country. Dan Weberg, PhD, RN, is the Head of Clinical Innovation at Trusted Health, a modern nurse staffing platform, and served as the opening keynote speaker. As an expert in nursing, health care innovation and human-centered patient design with extensive clinical experience, Weberg shared his thoughts on building cultures of innovation.
The lunch keynote was delivered by Maria Shirey, PhD, MBA, RN, FAAN, the Jane H. Brock – Florence Nightingale Endowed Professor of Nursing and associate dean for clinical and global partnerships at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing. Shirey gave an example of her own high-performing interdisciplinary team through the fully funded Heart Failure Transitional Care Service for Adults Clinic.
Using the popular children’s book “The Hungry Caterpillar,” Shirey compared the ups and downs of working in an interdisciplinary team to the rise and fall of the caterpillar’s body and final transformation.
“True to the story’s line, the caterpillar really transforms into a beautiful butterfly,” she said. “At the end, if you are willing to be patient, trust the design process and emphasize leadership and teamwork, you, too, can be one of those beautiful butterflies.”
The closing keynote message was also an emphasis on leadership in nursing and was delivered by Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent- Adams, PhD, RN, FAAN, the principal deputy assistant secretary for health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. As the former acting surgeon general, deputy surgeon general and chief nurse officer of the U.S. Public Health Service, Trent-Adams’ keynote was considered the perfect ending to a perfect day.
Trent-Adams shared that on her first day of ROTC, she was told, “You are a leader. From this day on, your life will never be the same.” She said she believes all nursing students should be told that same thing on the first day of nursing school because nurses work to encourage patients to keep living and keep fighting every day, which she said solidified leadership in her mind.
Trent-Adams closed her presentation with the advice to never forget to be grateful for the opportunity to be a nurse because what nurses do is very special.
“Not many get invited into people’s homes and to hear their worst nightmares and to hear their secrets, to sit at the bedside of someone as they are dying, to look into the eyes of a parent when they are losing their child,” she said. “Nurses hold a very, very special place. I want you to always remember that you need to have a vision for where you want to be because where there is no vision, there is no hope. We need to envision the future for nursing. Your future as a leader is laid out for you to take advantage of. The choice is yours. It’s right in front of you.”