Transformational Leadership

New nurse leaders forecast for a strong future
nursing image

2019 was a year of growth for the Carle Foundation. Across the system there was an increase in services, departmental expertise and provider practices. With this growth, Nursing made it a priority to elevate nurses from inside the organization to help lead the department and share their knowledge with the next generation.

More than 25 new nurse leaders were appointed in the past year.

“Many of our new leaders have progressed through several roles in nursing before becoming a designated nurse leader,” said Faith Roberts, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, executive director of Magnet, Professional Practice and Faith Community Nursing. “They were selected for their outstanding clinical prowess, strong critical thinking skills and empathic leader qualities as a staff nurse.”

The ability to grow your position as you extend expertise is intentional at Carle. Leaders recognize how important it is to retain talent to improve units and better serve patients across the board. The nursing department builds upon a clear laddering system that rewards and acknowledges staff retaining additional experience and expertise.

“Carle remains one of the few employers who offer tuition assistance, not reimbursement, and a scholarship program. As nurses return to school this makes a huge difference,” Roberts said.

There are new nurse leaders in areas across the system including the residency clinic, CCU, Labor and Delivery, Mother-Baby, Family Medicine at Curtis, Emergency Department, Convenient Care Plus, Carle on Curtis, Carle in Mattoon and others.

Amber Nibling, MSN, NE-BC, NPD-BC, RN-BC serves as the newest director of Clinical Education.

“I’ve never looked for jobs outside of Carle because whenever I had an interest, I was always given the chance to learn more and follow it,” she said.

Nibling has worked at Carle for 15 years and as nurse for 11 years. She started her career at Carle in the record room working with patient health information, before Electronic Medical Records existed. After learning on the job as a tech while in nursing school she spent time as a nurse on Rogers 6 Cardiology and the ambulatory float team before joining Clinical Education.

“I’ve been fortunate to always have amazing leaders around me who have been great mentors to me,” Nibling said. “There’s always a collaborative spirit to not just teach but help each other learn. I’m trying to carry that servant leadership model for myself as I continue to grow as a leader.”

The organization does provide some structured guidance to enable new leaders with the skills to not just be a great nurse leader but succeed within the Carle system.

“We have a six-series class for new nurse leaders taught by our experienced nurse leaders,” Roberts said. “They offer mentoring and precepting. We also hold leader retreats and recommend leadership resources.”

While many nurses provide leadership in informal ways to their units every day, these nurse leaders establish a solid pipeline for a successful future in nursing at Carle.

“The stronger the leader the stronger the nurses providing the care. We’re hoping to cultivate leaders who create a culture where autonomy is valued and compassion is prized,” Roberts said.