her to apply for a clinical manager position in 9 West. She followed their advice, and in late 2000 when her supervisor failed to return from maternity leave, she proposed a “shared leadership model.” After a year or so during which she and two other nurses shared the directorship, Ms. Hill was asked to become sole director (some staff were uncomfortable with the decentralized authority, despite good clinical outcomes). She did so, with a modest goal: “I wanted to provide a venue for all nurses to have a voice.”

With this goal in mind, Ms. Hill decided in 2008 that 9 West would be a good fit for Transforming Care at the Bedside (TCAB), a national initiative of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Communication between nurses and rotating medical residents was targeted in the hospital’s quest to improve the coordination of care (Quisling, 2009). As Ms. Hill said, “It’s disheartening when you receive a patient survey and a family says, ‘The doctor said this, but then the nurse told me that.’” A procedure was created for staff nurses to provide orientations to residents, who rotate monthly among units, to foster better team communication. Residents are now more likely to confer with 9 West nurses during rounds, Ms. Hill said, increasing satisfaction among nurses, residents, patients, and families.

As a doctoral student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee College of Nursing, Ms. Hill is examining an often neglected population: teens born with HIV, a majority of whom are African American and Hispanic. Now that many HIV-positive children survive into adulthood, they mature sexually and face the stigma attached to the infection. Ms. Hill’s study uses PhotoVoice, which involves putting cameras into the hands of HIV-positive teens and asking them for a visual answer to the question, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” “They’re writing their own story” in photographs, she said, a story they can use to raise awareness in others and to remind themselves of their own strengths.

I wanted to make the environment for the child and parents a place where they could feel safe, even though there was a lot of scary stuff going on around them.


—Connie Hill, MSN, RN, director of a 30-bed unit at Children’s Memorial Hospital, Chicago

Ms. Hill has quite a story herself. As a mother of a grown son, a pediatric nurse who endured many hospitalizations as a child, a researcher whose study is an outgrowth of her advocacy work, and an African American who strives to enhance access to health care for all, she is a woman of both practical ideas and lofty ideals. So when she saw that a child capable of living at home had been in her unit for 2 years, her natural response was to assemble a consortium. Today, that child is doing well at home.

their capacity for leadership through several avenues, such as earning academic credit for participating in the university’s leadership activities and discussing leadership issues with faculty. Students work in cooperative relationships with other students from various disciplines, faculty, community organizations, and the public (Janetti, 2003). Box 5-4 profiles two student leaders, one of whom eventu-



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