October 13, 2019
2 min read

Speaker: To do more with less, understand your strengths

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Johnsa Morris

SAN DIEGO — Nephrology nurse managers have tools and resources available to improve workplace efficiency, contain costs and enhance performance among staff members, which include understanding one’s strengths, according to a presenter at the Nephrology Nursing Practice, Management and Leadership Conference.

“Embrace who you are. People will continually tell you who you should be, what you should do and how you should do it and when you should do it. The recommendation from me is to be yourself, understand your strengths, understand you may need help and then transition that to where you align your partnership,” Johnsa Morris, MBA, MHA, BSN, RN, NEA-BC, vice president of patient care and chief nurse executive for Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Virginia, said.

She said nephrology nurse managers need to learn their people and culture, including their “superstars,” those seeking to advance and one’s peers.

“If you assume that managing a nursing department means it only takes you, then you will continually have too much to do,” she said.

Morris said an important part of the process for nephrology nurse managers is to manage one’s desk and calendar.

“Your desk tells a story about you and your readiness to take on more ... If you don’t manage your desk and your calendar, those things will manage you,” she said.

Likewise, she said it is important to organize one’s thoughts and plan tomorrow’s activities today. Nurse managers also need to establish partnerships with three key groups — peers, the leader and the team.

“Share the load. Don’t try to do it all yourself,” she said.

She advised against quickly volunteering for extra activities or projects if time is limited with one’s current workload.

“Your inability to do it will reflect on you,” she said.

Nephrology nurse managers also have many responsibilities, so they cannot do everything themselves, she said.

“If something is happening in imaging, it’s not your job to resolve it,” she said.

The ability of nephrology nurse managers to do more with less is dependent on one’s definition of one’s role.

“If you are the leader, you have to have good management skills; but being the manager doesn’t mean have good leadership skills.”

Nephrology nurse managers have the responsibility to ensure the availability of required resources. This entails that nephrology nurse managers do more with less.

“To do more with less, I don’t mean [for] you to add more to your list. I mean how you can get your list completed,” she said.

In doing more with less, nephrology nurse managers need to assess situations, identify opportunities for improvement, determine gaps and waste, make and implement plans, and evaluate the achievement of the expected outcome.

“You want the right person to own the problem. Otherwise, the problem continues to exist,” she said.

She advised against multitasking as it enables one to waste time as one loses focus.

To do more with less, nephrology nurse managers need to balance their work, families and communities. They also need to embrace who they are, she said. - by Kristine Houck, MA, ELS


Morris J. Session 50. Presented at: American Nephrology Nurses Association’s Nephrology Nursing Practice, Management and Leadership Conference; Oct. 12-14, 2019; San Diego.


Disclosure: Morris reports no relevant financial disclosures.