Vizient Nursing Leadership Excellence Series: Just What the Nurses Ordered


Nurses regularly face events that can range from the ordinary and routine to the shocking and tragic. While their medical training and experience gives them a solid foundation for delivering patient care, it doesn’t always prepare them for challenges they face as they advance into nurse leadership roles.

That education gap, identified almost 14 years ago by a group of chief nursing officers (CNOs) from our member hospitals, was the genesis for Vizient’s Nurse Leadership Excellence Series (NLES). To date, nearly 70,000 nurse managers have attended NLES session offerings.

“What makes the program efficient is that our speakers present practical ideas or solutions on a national scale to front-line nurses. What makes it effective is that audience members can immediately apply what they just heard, discussed and learned to their everyday duties,” said Rosemary Curran, senior director, content, network services at Vizient.

The NLES is a six-part live webcast hosted on Vizient TV over the course of a year. The series explores topics ranging from the standard (effective communication techniques and leadership motivational skills) to the highly volatile (workplace violence and post-traumatic stress). These topics are gleaned from a number of sources, including Vizient nursing leads, CNO groups and input/feedback from attendees. 

The first session of this year’s series features a nurse leader who treated victims of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting. She describes how she confronted the tragic circumstances she and her team faced and how to cope with that type of post-traumatic stress.

“The NLES continues to maintain a high satisfaction rating over many years and that’s due to the fact we target the right topics that are pertinent to this audience,” said Jane McCarthy, MS, RN, CPHQ, senior director, nursing leadership at Vizient. 

Realizing multiple benefits
Vizient builds each NLES season around highly qualified subject matter experts who typically have experience as current and former nurses, C-suite level executives or professors at academic medical centers. They bring first-hand experience, lessons learned and case studies with real-life examples. But the conversation isn’t one way. Speakers also facilitate a high level of interaction with the audience through multiple channels to ask questions during and after the presentation.

While the subject matter and the robust, real-time discussion is the primary draw for the audience, there are additional benefits, such as:

  • Continuing CE credit hours
  • The opportunity for on-demand viewing; and
  • The ability to watch as a group and debrief after the session with nurse leaders in room

“The format of a live webcast is what really makes NLES unique,” said Jayne Willingham, MN, RN, CPHQ, NLES series moderator and senior director, nursing leadership at Vizient. “Nursing professionals are able to watch live, quality programming with their coworkers but then they get the additional benefit of having a conversation and/or debrief between them after the presentation concludes.”

Ultimately, the speakers excel at delivering a successful webcast not only because of their knowledge of the critical subject matter, but also because of their passion for sharing that knowledge with others.

“The passion of the speakers translates into a high level of energy and member engagement, which ultimately yields a high level of satisfaction for the audience,” McCarthy said.

Willingham encourages any nursing professional in the Vizient membership to take part in the series, either during the live webcasts or by taking advantage of the on-demand feature. The NLES not only benefits members of regional networks, but it’s also available as a fee-for-service subscription if they’re not in a network.

To learn more about the 2017 Nursing Leadership Excellence Series, click here.

Following is a list of session topics and dates in 2017:

Part 1: Post-Traumatic Stress: How to Deal with the Tough Stuff
Available on demand

Part 2: Not on My Watch: Preventing Workplace Violence
Thursday, March 16

Part 3: Keeping Our Leaders: Options for Nursing Leaders in Retirement
Thursday, April 20

Part 4: Communication, Conflict and Coworkers—Oh My! Navigating the Road to Effective Communication
Thursday, Aug. 31

Part 5: Resiliency: Bouncing Back from Setbacks
Thursday, Sept. 28

Part 6: Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation
Thursday, Oct. 19

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