Book Review: What Would Florence Do? A Guide for New Nurse Managers

Sue Johnson, RN, PH.D., NE-BC, author of What Would Florence do? A Guide for New Nurse Managers has been nurse for 47 years. She currently works for the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet appraiser. Her years of experience as staff nurse, manager, educator and director have contributed to Sue’s valuable insight that she now has shared in her new publication.

Sue addresses the modern day challenges of being a nurse manager and refers to the pioneer of modern day nursing, Florence Nightingale as a mentor and an example. The handbook is the an essential modern guide for new nurse managers and gives practical tips on areas such as staff development, ethical practice, safety and quality improvement, care coordination and strategic planning.

The scope of responsibility for many Nurse managers has increased tremendously. They are not only expected to be strong leaders with seniority and clinical experience that model safe and improved practice. Nurse managers in today’s modern health care environment are also expected to be great communicators, problem solvers and often engage with unions, non-nurse staff and business administrators and make key decisions.

Today, the role of a nurse manager can be a daunting one, especially for a new nurse leader. Sue’s guide offers a wealth of knowledge and touches on the modern changes in the nursing and health care world including the Affordable Health Care Act. Sue applies her own experiences and historical anecdotes of how Florence Nightingale handled similar issues to formulate a model for a transformational leader; A leader who is both current in practice while maintaining a commitment to nursing excellence that Florence practiced over 150 year ago.

The easily read book of just under a 100 pages is helpful for all nurse leaders, seasoned and newly appointed alike. The book should also be read by any staff nurse aspiring to step into a leadership role in their career in order to better understand the demands and rewards of being in a Nurse Manager role.