Dear Nursing Leader

Dear Nursing Leader,


Jan Keys, DNP, RN, FACHE

Whether you are a new nurse leader at Erlanger Health System or have been in a leadership role for some time, I want to offer some tenants of leadership and role modeling that might help strengthen and energize your daily work.

We are approaching a mid-term election year, so I thought I would draw some comparison to political leadership. As leaders at Erlanger and as civic leaders, we need to be aware that people are always watching and even modeling our behavior. The constituents take their cues from what are acceptable norms, standards and behaviors, in many ways, from the leaders. Similarly, every day is a public opinion poll.

With this being said, and given that we are in the second quarter of a new fiscal year, have new leadership in nursing and have recently done some restructuring, I thought now would be a good time to mention some basic expectations for Erlanger nurse leaders. I don’t think these are particularly an issue for our division as a whole; however, I do want to take the time to outline some fundamental expectations. The following are some basic tenants:

Be the example   

It is important, that leaders report to work at a reasonable hour. My expectation is that unless you have a special meeting offsite or have prior approval from your supervisor, you should report to work by 8:00 am. Similarly, it is important to maintain a full workday onsite unless you have a meeting that takes you offsite or have previously requested approval from your supervisor. Once again, appearance matters, and our staff take their cues from us.

I do want to mention, as it relates to role modeling, it is important that we don’t do something that we would not appreciate our associates doing. So, for example, bringing children into the workplace is not appropriate.


It is important that you hold regular staff meetings and huddles. With so many initiatives going on and all the projects in play, it is more important than ever that we maintain regular and consistent communication.

Encourage a team atmosphere

Don’t allow or participate in gossip or negative comments relating to any associates. Promote a culture of teamwork in all circumstances. I want everyone to be very cognizant of perception and join me in emulating what we expect from our associates. Holding ourselves to high standards creates a strong foundation for great patient care from our associates. I think it is good for us all to hold each other accountable to these standards. If you ever have a question or concern about what is the appropriate standard of application, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

Kind Regards,