DaVita Home Dialysis Nurse Overcomes Self Doubt to Lead with Confidence and Understanding
I’ve been as a registered nurse (RN) for years, and I have worked with the DaVita since 2011. I am blessed to say that my time in the company has been focused on serving patients and families in the home dialysis program and educating fellow teammates.
I had the honor of participating in the THRIVE Program from 2018, from March through August. THRIVE is a 5-month leadership development program to develop high-potential RNs, clinical coordinators and clinic nurse managers into operational managers. The program was initially presented to me by a fellow teammate who felt that it would be a great opportunity for me to sharpen my skills and continue to grow as a leader. At first I was nervous about stepping away from my role as an RN, as my greatest joy and fulfillment came from interactions with my patients and their families.
As I researched the program, I found myself intrigued – but also more anxious! I didn’t consider myself “business-savvy” and I was concerned about the time and resources needed to continue caring for my patients and families. Before THRIVE I had given little thought to the operational and financial aspects of managing a business. However, I saw a lot of opportunity within the outline of the program – the first two sessions focused on emotional intelligence and self-awareness and the last three sessions expanded on the operational aspects of the manager role.
After conversations with my leaders, I decided to pursue the THRIVE Program as it aligned with my why and compelling purpose: to empower others. After being nominated for the program by my leaders, I was selected to interview! The interview process itself was eye opening and humbling. Each interview peeled back a layer of myself that I had never given much energy to developing. I was also terrified – I felt like I was a nurse leader but I was not sure about the concept of managing others. I didn’t know if I could hold others accountable and have those tough conversations that may arise. Despite my fears and uncertainty, I advanced to the final phase of the interview process and was ultimately accepted to be one of 40 nurses in the 2018 class!
I am happy to share that the five month journey through THRIVE has been hands-down the best experience of my life. The program not only was an investment of my time, but also an investment into my entire being, both personally and professionally. Not only do I have the skills required to successfully lead a team, I have been able to face ME with conviction and confidence. During the program I realized I had to be honest with myself about how I perceived others, my need for acceptance and approval, and my inability to say “no.”
Equally important, I have been able to relish in my strengths and utilize them to better myself and others. I’ve gained the confidence to not only understand myself but to accept where I am, extend myself the forgiveness for mistakes I have made, and the grace to allow myself to be consumed with new skills. I’ve learned that to lead others you have to show love first! Your impact and intention have to align seamlessly. I also learned that it is important to fiercely advocate for those in my lane. I developed the belief and understanding that failure mostly precedes success and to rob others of the opportunity to fail inhibits their growth.
One of my greatest takeaways from THRIVE was that being democratic doesn’t make you a great leader. As a leader you may make choices that aren’t popular, but can still be respected by sharing the “why.” For example, I used what I learned to have tough conversations with my team in a way that has made them receptive and understand the reason behind decisions. These conversations have empowered the team to work hard to be good stewards of time and resources, making their own decisions to better support the team’s needs.
Another takeaway was that I need to better utilize resources that the Village continues to provide to help with my daily needs and responsibilities. I know I am never alone, never isolated, never helpless – this is what has made me desire to continue to grow and to pour into others! I found great support in fellow teammates to help me grow in the areas I struggle in. Sometimes I feel like I am a novice, but because of THRIVE I have better understanding of the P&L, financial responsibility and stewardship. I have been able to manage both job performance and labor with more confidence.
So, where am I now? I am proud to say that I am currently a facility administrator and a home program manager. I have a phenomenal team of 11 nurses, an administrative assistance, a social worker and dietitian. I am thrilled to continue to spread the ripples that THRIVE has provided me across The Village to teammates and patients. If you are a DaVita Nurse interested in learning more about the THRIVE Leadership Development Program, please speak to your manager. One For All!