While introspecting on my journey into nursing from business and eventually into leadership, I always wonder that though the journey has been a roller coaster ride, but it has evolved into something that I am passionate about and would love doing for the rest of my career.
My entry into healthcare was mainly due to life experiences and fascination about how medicine and human influence could transform lives. I lost my dad to colon cancer when I knew nothing about medicine or palliative care. Upon reflection, I always felt that had I taken up this profession earlier, I might have been able to provide him with better care and comfort. With the clinical experience that I have now, I have definitely made a difference in a lot of other people’s lives. With nursing if I could influence all the patients that I cared for, with leadership my sphere of influence grew many times where I used my learnings and experience to guide and motivate my team and take pride in providing exceptional care to a huge number of patients.
Being a nurse in the female dominated profession was challenging enough but not as challenging as convincing my mother that I wanted to pursue a career that I am so passionate about. Coming from a male chauvinistic Indian society and a family of doctors and engineers, to break away my mother’s stereotyped perception; that nursing was for women was not easy. But along with being passionate, I am also persistent and have always stood up for what I thought was right.
Nursing is a second career and a second degree for me. My extensive business experience, be it being the Director of sales in a consumer product or spearheading a startup staffing company, has helped me immensely and has shaped my professional practice.
In 2012, I started my new role as a Nurse Manager at Lenox Hill hospital, becoming a part of one of the best healthcare organizations I have worked for. Managing a staff of 48 staff members is very demanding and like most leaders, I have had my share of challenges and triumphs. After 2.5 years into this role, our unit has consistently managed to be the first unit to be 100% compliant with Employee satisfaction surveys or Flu compliance in the entire hospital, we always strive be number 1. Being in this role I recently got nominated and selected as a High Potential candidate among several leaders within all the hospitals and ancillary facilities within the health system. The High Potential program is a systematic personalized development program where they select a group of approximately 40-50 leaders and prepare them and give them the tools to enhance their performance and to build leadership succession within the health system. As a part of this program, I was also sent to The Wharton School of Business (University of Pennsylvania) for a Nursing Leadership program.
I was very fortunate to get introduced to the NYC chapter for Men in Nursing. As a part of this dynamic group we need to increase the efforts to recruit and retain more men into this noble profession. Though the task might be uphill, identifying the barriers which range from gender biases, social isolation and stereotyping to name a few should be tackled. Though Nursing is the most trusted profession in the U.S., it is definitely not the most respected one. As a member of this chapter I definitely want to change this equation.
- Mohan Lokanadham