Healthcare leadership in uncertain times: How we can empower and equip future leaders

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Healthcare leadership in uncertain times: How we can empower and equip future leaders

November 16, 2020
Andrew Malley
By Andrew Malley

I’m passionate about knowledge, empowering people, and getting them excited about ongoing training that would best benefit them in their day to day jobs. We used to think of continuing education as something that can make you better at your job and turbo boost your career. We also know online learning is the great equalizer — because no matter where you are or what your personal schedule looks like, you can make it happen.

But what we didn’t know was what 2020 held for us. For years, healthcare professionals were choosing low-quality, for-profit programs from unranked institutions, usually due to financial constraints. It’s now become quite clear that many of those programs are lacking a curriculum that includes real-world problem solving skills healthcare leaders would have needed so desperately during the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, and will need in the future.

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In a perfect world, every health worker deserves the opportunity to further their education through high-quality programs from the best institutions in the world. That includes clinicians to administrators to those in healthcare marketing and analytics. They deserve programs that are developed with healthcare industry leaders for today’s healthcare workforce. That means we need to be helping healthcare professionals who might be feeling burnt out from 2020, and who are weary of what 2021 holds. We all know that the changing from one year to another is a human concept, and we realize a deadly pandemic does not care when the clock strikes midnight. We also are well aware, as are all healthcare professionals, that we are still in the middle of this fight, and we need to be better equipped.

For example, nurses are exceptional leaders, but perhaps they want to better understand the business-side of healthcare. Maybe their experience during this time of crisis, in terms of acquiring supplies or working through management to get the support they need, opened their eyes to a whole new world of bureaucracy they want to better navigate. I personally spoke to many professionals who know that times are changing and that to adapt, they need to diversify their skills and knowledge.

Healthcare leaders who are looking to take their career to the next level should look for workforce development programs that connect them with industry leaders and academic institutions with experience. Important items to consider include the instructor’s background — do they have “real world” experience? It’s also important to explore programs that are flexible and provide the ability to gain experience and knowledge quickly — because healthcare can’t wait for traditional programs to catch up to what we need now.

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