Tertiary Nurse Leaders (L to R) Meghan Cunnion, ASN, RN (purple shirt); Christine Grunes, BSN, RN; Kathy McDermott, BSN, RN; Maria Avelar, BSN, RN; Michael Charbonnier, ASN, RN; Sandra Dupont, RN; Hannah Goucher, BSN, RN; Courtney Peledge, BSN, RN; Marcia Greene, BSN, RN; Nicole Duchesne, BSN, RN; and Patty McCusker, BSN, RN, at a workshop in early March.
Maria Avelar considers herself an ambitious person. The 10-year veteran nurse at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center has been acting as a charge nurse since early in her tenure. So last year, Maria jumped at the opportunity to apply for a new role, called a tertiary nurse leader, which would give her leadership opportunities in her unit and beyond.
“I’ve always liked to lead, and I wanted to be a part of the leadership team but didn’t know how to become involved,” said Avelar. “So this was the perfect opportunity.”
Avelar is one of more than 60 nurses across the hospital who have been selected, after extensive group interviews, to become tertiary nurse leaders. In this expanded role, these nurse leaders will have increased responsibility and promote new initiatives focused on patient satisfaction. The first group attended a professional development workshop led by inpatient clinical nurse leaders in early March designed to enhance their leadership and communications skills. Topics included patient flow, handling staffing issues, conflict resolution and financials.
“For Lahey, it gives them consistency on inpatient units and security knowing they have people in charge who know what they’re doing,” said Avelar. “For the nurses, it keeps us something to strive for, it’s an aspiration. It creates an option for people who still want to take care of patients, but also want to be part of a leadership team.”