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|ACNL in Action|
ACNL in Action
Foundations Attendee: "The word I keep coming back to is 'inspiring'."
By: Jacob Roche
Academic preparation can provide a strong knowledge base, but it’s practical experience that creates the backbone of learning. That’s something that Jordann Gilmer, MSN, RN, CNOR, understands. She has spent the last two years as the Spine Coordinator in the Operating Room at Providence St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, but she recently transitioned into a clinical supervisor role and will soon be taking an interim manager position. Jordann is also a new ACNL member and a recent graduate of ACNL’s Foundation for Leadership Excellence program.
A path to excellence
Jordann has spent her entire six-year nursing career in the operating room. In addition to her two years as the Spine Coordinator, she also earned her master’s degree in nursing leadership and management in October of 2018. However, Jordann says that she didn’t feel she had a chance to implement her leadership knowledge until she became a clinical supervisor and went through the Foundation for Leadership Excellence program.
“The ACNL program definitely made it more real-life,” Jordann shared. “The ACNL course went into more of the financials and lingo, where I think I understood it a lot better leaving that course than I did in my master’s program.”
Surprisingly, Jordann had never heard of ACNL before going through the Foundation program. However, she says that she is always looking for professional development opportunities, and the CNO at her facility, ACNL Board Member Giancarlo Lyle-Edrosolo, suggested she look into ACNL’s offerings.
“I’m forever grateful for him, because the course was amazing, and I think from now on I’ll definitely be a lifetime member,” Jordann said.
While the Foundation for Leadership Excellence program covers many aspects of nurse leadership, Jordann says she found the section on managing finances to be the most impactful.
“I learned something new every day,” Jordann shared. “The financial section is something I think that a lot of people don’t get, especially in master’s programs, unless you do an MBA.”
Jordann also appreciated the networking opportunities the program provided, both with other students and with the instructors. Students sit in groups and brainstorm together during class activities, and during lunch each day they’re able to sit with an instructor at each table. The lunch sessions allow students to ask questions, get advice, and share their thoughts and feelings with some of ACNL’s most influential nurse leaders.
Jordann was able to spend some of her lunch sessions with ACNL President Kim Long. “She had so much energy,” she said. “She was just super inspiring. Every instructor there came off as very personable and was definitely available to ask questions and get insight from.”
Since completing the program, Jordann says she’s been able to sit in on C-suite meetings as she approaches her interim manager position, and the Foundation for Leadership Excellence program has given her the knowledge base to better understand the concepts being discussed. She says that ACNL has helped her to feel more confident that she belongs in those conversations.
“The word I keep coming back to is ‘inspiring’,” she said.