b'LEADERSHIP GUIDE|Leaning Toward LeadershipA nurses journey to improve her leadershipskills through continuing educationBy Joe DarrahL ong before the benign brain tumor made its presence felt, Lydiapolicies, enforcing documentation practices, and working with vendors Corum, RN, MSN, CWCN, knew what she wanted for the nextto help maintain the programs inventory and products.step in her career. The longtime nurse, who has cared for patientsBut Corum said that a fruitful professional relationship began to turn all along the healthcare continuum (predominantly in wound care) issour when she initially gave her three weeks notice for a position at determined to serve as a director of a wound care program, a role thatanother facility as a wound care director, an opportunity she had devel-she believes would allow her to maximize her education and expertiseoped a real passion for as a chance at career advancement and fulfillment. and allow her to make an impact on both the clinical care of patientsI needed a better paying job, and the chief nursing officer asked me, and the complicated business aspect of the industry.What can I do to keep you here? And so I was ultimately promised the With nearly 20 years of experience in wound care, she believes thatopportunity to serve as a director, but that fell through and the oppor-she is well positioned to lead a program despite the newfound healthtunity went to someone else. And that hurt. Feeling like her loyalty led challenges she faces, such as recurrent migraines, intermittent loss ofto a drastic missed opportunity, Corum later took a contract position balance and strength in her legs, and difficulty walking long distancesas a consultant, but after honoring the agreement she decided that she and standing for long periods of time. She is at increased risk of falls,wanted to stay true to her goals in a full-time capacity. but medication and weight loss have proved beneficial in that regardToday shes again working as a full-time coordinator and is happy in and would not compromise her abilities to competently and confidentlyher role that allows her the opportunity to, among other responsibilities, conduct the job, as she sees it.serve as a member of a committee tasked with upgrading policies and Through networking and job interviewing, she has learned that moreprocedures for hospitals in the network, offer guidance related to reim-administrators are seeking professionals who possess leadership train- bursement regulations, address patient satisfaction needs, and perform ing and certification to serve in management roles, and even though sheclinical consultations. has held specialty certification in the treatment of chronic wounds for more than a decade, she has decided to take a step back and do some- LESSONS IN LEADERSHIPthing that she has not done since the late 1990sgo back to school.Today, Corum is also one month into a leadership certification program Although she considers herself a seasoned and successful leaderthrough The John Maxwell Company, an organization that provides based on the strength of her hands-on experience and resume, shecareer coaching and workshops through curriculum that are custom-believes that she can become more effective at leading a staff throughized to address specific organizational, cultural, and career challenges. continued education.Corum attends her courses online and expects to earn her certification Ive learned that you need to set yourself up with growth everyin February. She suggests any professional consider such types of educa-year if you want to increase your value as a professional, said Corum.tion if they are interested in working at a management level or even for And I want to educate myself more because it is becoming morethe sake of personal career fulfillment. important among employers for professionals to have this type ofWe all could use assistance in increasing our leadership abilities as leadership training. healthcare professionals, she said. Its something that I think a lot of people dont think about enough. RELOCATED AND REVIVED In nursing school, we only received one semester of management It was 2013 and Corum, who was born and raised in Indiana, was ateducation, and in my masters course I only had one class that educated her limit for the bitterly cold winters of her hometown. So she decidedstudents on different management styles. Thats not enough to be able to move to the West Coast, where she continues to reside. As an expe- to help other professionals grow and to manage people ethically. By rienced travel nurse she had leads and was able to secure full-timeimproving my abilities as a leader, I know that I can be of more value to employment as a wound care coordinator with a high-level impact onmy staff and my patients.npatients and facility operations, including collaborating with adminis-tration on daily clinical protocol and marketing, assisting staff with rela- Joe Darrah is a freelance author based in the Philadelphia region who tionship-building and team-building, teaching patients about differenthas been covering the healthcare field since 2004. He may be reached at ISTOCKdressings and their functions, analyzing and rewriting of managementjdarrah17@yahoo.com.26 LEADERSHIP GUIDE|2020| www.elitecme.com'