Cindy Newman is a new nurse manager of an 85-bed medical-surgical unit in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She has been asked by the vice president of nursing to chair the policy and procedure committee for the nursing division. The vice president warns her, “This committee is a disorderly, unhappy bunch. You’ll find they’re hard to control and hard to please. We’ve chosen you as the new leader because you’re very upbeat. We have hopes that you can turn this committee around.”Nurse Newman is excited and asks the nursing division secretary for a list of names of those who serve on the committee, the scheduled meeting times, and the room where the meeting is held. She discovers that the next meeting is scheduled for 2 weeks from now. Nurse Newman happily plans her schedule to be at the meeting on time. On the day of the meeting, she arrives at the assigned room 5 minutes early and finds the room a mess, with chairs everywhere. The room has no chalk or flip chart. Members arrive and begin mumbling.
Nurse Newman asks everyone to help arrange the room, and the committee spends the next 10 minutes getting the seating arranged. Jon Nage, a nurse, asks Nurse Newman where the coffee and donuts are, and she replies that she did not know that it was her job to arrange for refreshments. Jack Belen, a pharmacist, asks for a copy of the agenda because he did not find one in his box. Nurse Newman says she did not send one. She was interested in finding out what items should be covered at the meeting by getting the group’s input. Many members start mumbling that their units are busy, and they cannot afford to waste time. One woman looks at Nurse Newman and says, “Well, I guess some things are just never going to change, new leader or not.”
1. What tasks did Nurse Newman do that was advantageous? What tasks did she neglect that would have assisted a positive group environment?
2. Nurse Newman is told she was chosen because she is upbeat and the group is such an unhappy one. Obviously, being upbeat and friendly is not enough.
What might Nurse Newman need to do as the first order of business?
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