The Year of the Nurse: 6 Reflections on Leadership Amidst Adversity

Sydnee Logan
By Sydnee Logan  | 
The Year of the Nurse: 6 Reflections on Leadership Amidst Adversity

When exactly will things become “precedented” again?

Unfortunately, there are no answers in sight. But we do know that it is the year of the nurse and the midwife, and the entire Johns Hopkins School of Nursing community has stepped up beyond measure.

So here are six reflections from leaders at every level.

My journey is not yet finished, but I know one thing: adversity instills resilience. Hopkins is teaching me that.

Jane Ko, DNP Family Nurse Practitioner student

Laura Arthur, Director of the Career Lab

It can be hard to read others’ emotions in a virtual environment.

So much of our work is interdependent on others, and a key to strong relationships is building your emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence includes self-awareness of your own intuition and preferences, an ability to regulate impulses and empathize with others’ feelings, and recognition that someone else might perceive or experience a situation differently from you.

Rather than making any assumptions, regularly check in with each person on your team, ask what they need, and listen to what they have to say. Giving your full presence and attention, and following-up on needs, is vital to building trust and mutual investment.

Alexander Rike, MSN (Entry Into Nursing), Men In Nursing

I wish more leaders today approached problems from a nursing perspective, which begins with empathetic listening.

Scott Newton presented to Men in Nursing last semester and said something that stuck with me, “I retain the perspective of a nurse at each progressive level of my career.”

He looks at his role as provisioning care for larger and larger groups – from patients at the bedside, to a unit, to an organization, or to a community.

Leah Woienski, MSN (Entry Into Nursing), Student Senate President

In leadership, vulnerability is strength.

There is strength in saying, “This is where I am, this is how I feel, and these are the trials challenging me right now.”

This year tested our adaptability and resilience to new extremes, and in leadership, vulnerability is strength. Leadership requires recognition that 2020 has presented with unprecedented challenges as well as reminded us of long-standing societal issues which demand both our attention and action.

Identifying these truths within myself, while also encouraging others to do the same, has opened the door for unity, courage, and strength. Brené Brown may have said it best when she stated:

“A brave leader is someone who says I see you. I hear you. I don’t have all the answers, but I am going to keep listening.”

We must be more empathetic towards each other, with the understanding that we are all impacted and all need some healing.”

Bunmi Ogungbe, PhD in Nursing student

Lucine Francis, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor

There is no better time for nurse leaders to influence policy on equitable education.

The COVID-19 pandemic revealed to many and reinforced to some that Child Care and Schools are the bedrock of today’s society.

Much of our economy and health depend on well-functioning schools and childcare. There is no better time for nurse leaders to be involved and actively engaged in policy, practice, and research to help drive equitable solutions for our early care and education systems.


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Sydnee Logan, MA is the Sr. Social Media and Digital Content Specialist for Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. She connects Hopkins Nurses with the world.

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