Nursing in the Global World

Nursing in the Global World

By SONHSNews

Nursing in the Global World

By SONHSNews
Amid COVID-19 pandemic, a call to action from CEO of world’s second largest nursing organization.

The School of Nursing and Health Studies concluded its Nursing Now USA South Florida Lecture Series on April 24 with a virtual visit from featured speaker Elizabeth Madigan, chief executive officer of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.

Madigan, PhD, RN, FAAN, shared insights from her own experience as a nurse leader and described key initiatives taking shape in 2020, designated the first-ever International Year of the Nurse and Midwife by the World Health Organization.

She discussed the importance of establishing executive and leadership training opportunities for nurses, recruiting more nurses into leadership positions, and calling on government and non-government entities to create chief nursing officer roles, as the WHO did in 2018 when it brought on current CNO Elizabeth Iro.

“This is a more critical time than ever to identify nurse leaders,” said Madigan, Sigma’s CEO since 2017. “We have to see the changes we make to our organizations as really having an impact. Leadership is not a position but a worldview with action focused on making change to improve the situation, regardless of the setting. Even if you don’t think of yourself as a leader, you can identify something you can make better. Nurses lead from where they are.”

She gave examples of nursing pioneers throughout history who have helped carry the profession forward from all corners of the globe, such as Rufaida Al-Aslamia, Mary Seacole, Florence Nightingale, Harriet Tubman, and Faith Thomas, among others.

Madigan discussed how the global Nursing Now campaign, currently in its third year, is helping to advance leadership opportunities through initiatives such as the Nightingale Challenge. She said her own organization, which has over 135,000 active members in more than 100 countries, accepted the challenge by launching a year-long leadership development program with 29 emerging nurse leaders from eight countries.

SONHS has accepted the Nightingale Challenge, as well, engaging dozens of early-career nurse leaders from South Florida to Latin America in leadership development opportunities. A number of participants logged in for Madigan’s Nursing Now USA lecture, which was broadcast via Zoom in English and Spanish. After her formal address, Madigan spoke directly with the nurses in the SONHS Nightingale program, answering their questions and offering wisdom from her own journey.

“Nursing leadership requires dealing with a complex system of people,” she explained. “And it takes the time and willingness to understand the perspectives of those you are leading, not necessarily to agree, but to know where they are coming from, where the barriers and obstacles are. … Leadership qualities really start with knowing yourself.”