Dr. Eisenstock says she doesn’t start new roles or programs for the affiliated practitioners without getting the green light from Therrien.
“Crystal now represents the voice for how the division decides to employ APPs and the strategies we use to fill various roles,” she says. TH
Larry Beresford is a freelance writer in Alameda, Calif.
How NPs, PAs Can Prepare for Greater Leadership Roles
Michael Huckabee, MPAS, PhD, PA-C, is director of the Division of Physician Assistant Education at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, where he trains both entry-level students and mid-career practitioners pursuing distance learning.
“When PAs are group leaders, they need to have the ability and orientation to involve all of their physicians in decision making,” Huckabee says. “This is a collaborative model of leadership. A term we use in leadership training is called ‘persuasive mapping’—the ability to influence others through reasoning to do something greater.”
What does Huckabee look for in students who might have a knack for leadership but could use a nudge in that direction?
“It’s a person who is somewhat gregarious and who builds strong relationships with others. They come to him or her for advice and ideas. But also with some level of humility—aware and accepting of personal limitations. These are the folks where we can say, ‘Let’s talk about your leadership skills and where we can strengthen you to be better prepared for the opportunities that can come up,’” he explains.
Huckabee says PAs need to get their names into consideration for opportunities on hospital committees such as pharmacy, credentialing, or ethics.
“You have to be well-versed about where you fit as a professional, relative to other advanced practitioners, and how the system works,” he says. “You have to be at the table, looking for opportunities to move the organization forward.”
Laurie Benton, PhD, MPAS, PA-C, RN, DFAAPA, who is the system director of advanced practice professionals for the Baylor Scott & White Health in Dallas, offers some additional advice for PAs and NPs who would like to rise to positions of leadership in their hospital groups or health systems.
“I recommend taking as many leadership classes as your facility offers,” she says. “Also consider taking outside leadership courses and even getting a second degree in business.”
Benton also says NPs and PAs should get involved in state and national professional and specialty associations. For example, the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants now offers a certificate of added qualifications in hospital medicine.
“That is where you will learn a great deal about laws that govern PAs and upcoming legislation that could affect what PAs are allowed to do and how they get paid,” she says, as well as the credentialing and boarding of PAs and NPs, which vary from state to state and from hospital to hospital.