Today’s Theme: Growing as Leaders Through Education and Practice
What makes some leaders and their organizations soar while others falter when challenges arise? Today, a growing body of literature indicates that leadership resiliency can be the difference between the success and failure of leaders and the organizations they lead. In spite of this seemingly straightforward principle, many leaders are unable to weather the storms of budget shortfalls, disenchanted subordinates, inadequate manpower resources, and complex and shifting organizational requirements. Instead, leaders should develop resiliency by: viewing loss as a gift, nurturing relationships, and cultivating leadership resilience through disciplined practice.
Mary Breckinridge’s life and work provide a historical exemplar of the ways in which one nursing leader applied these principles as she worked doggedly to overcome family tragedies, educational shortfalls, personal health challenges, and seemingly insurmountable challenges of weather, geography, war, and finances to establish the Frontier Nursing Service and the Frontier Graduate School of Midwifery. Through an exploration of Mary Breckinridge’s story, contemporary leaders can find inspiration and guidance to enhance their own leadership resiliency.
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Anne Z. Cockerham, PhD, CNM, WHNP-BC, CNE is the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and the Frontier Nursing University Professor of History. She is certified as a nurse-midwife and women’s health nurse practitioner. Her clinical experience includes full-scope care in a private, midwifery-owned practice and a military setting; outpatient-only care in a number of collaborative practices; and care of underserved women in a community free clinic.
Dr. Cockerham earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a PhD in Nursing from the University of Virginia, a Master of Science in Nursing from Case Western Reserve University, and certificates as a nurse-midwife and women’s health nurse practitioner from the Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing.