Developing Future Leaders: The L.O.V.E. Approach
Holloway, Kathy S.
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Session presented on Monday, November 9, 2015: Nursing education and leadership must rapidly change as healthcare organizations are reorganizing into detailed 21 st century multi-faceted systems to provide care for complex conditions. If nurse leaders and nursing faculty incorporate the L.O.V.E. approach into their daily interactions with registered nurses (RNs), and nursing students, both will benefit as will the patients that they care for and the staff that they lead and collaborate with. Using the L.O.V.E. approach teaches and models professionalism, leadership, civility, ethics, and caring, which should be the framework of professional nursing at its best, especially in these current times when quality of care and services drives healthcare organizations. Nursing organizations and educational programs are emphasizing and exposing nurses and students to many different evidence-based tools to help improve and maintain quality in nursing practice. Nurse leaders and educational faculty need to be role models by providing high quality engagement in the healthcare and educational environment. In a study by Ma, Li, Zhu et al., (2013), three themes were identified that support this approach and relate to facilitation. They involved promoting a sense of professional responsibility and ethics, providing a place in which to practice caring, and learning from positive role models. Further, the Greater Washington Area Chapter (GWAC) of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses supports chapter succession planning through the development of community and collegiality as a way to identify and mentor future leaders (Hughes, Belkoski, & McNeil-Jones, 2012). The L.O.V.E. Approach supports their succession planning model. Description of the Approach The L.O.V.E. acronym stands for the following: legitimize, optimize, validate and empower. Legitimize their education by creating a social presence that is sincere and authentic, and by setting appropriate benchmarks for the busy working RN and RN student. Optimize their work environment and, or education by building on their current knowledge and providing opportunities for personal and professional growth that are most advantageous to each nurse or student related to their learning styles, current, and long-term professional goals and leadership succession planning. Validate their current level of nursing practice expertise and previous education by using it as a framework for practice application and service learning/civic engagement opportunities that stimulate critical thinking and clinical judgment. Empower them to be leaders in the profession through knowledge attainment, and by being a professional role model of high ethical and moral comportment that is active in professional nursing organizations. Through the practice of this affective teaching and learning model, personalized support and recognition which may foster cognitive empowerment and allow full engagement in the process of leadership development and learning may be obtained. As nurses are empowered to grow as professional leaders and students are motivated to perform in academia, likewise, they will be able to motivate and lead others round them in a collaborative manner to provide high quality, evidence-based patient care.