Our Chief Nurse Margaret oversees ALEX nursing and plays a key role in connecting new nurses with different job groups to help with their development and the overall growth of NUHS nursing as one identity.
"I spend a bulk of my time developing nurse leaders, strategic planning for nursing and bridge the work that we do to work very collaboratively with other job groups. Essentially, (my job) is to break barriers."
About CN Margaret
CN Margaret Lee didn't choose to be a nurse, but turned out to thoroughly enjoy it. Her primary role right now amongst others, is to enable new nurses to provide better care to the patients. She had worked as a nurse across multiple departments including ICU, general ward, neurology, nephrology and psychiatry.
"One of the key things right now is that I'm running this nurse leader programme. While we do have structured leadership programmes within the system, there's always going to be an issue of scarcity, where the demand for these learning opportunities will always supersede the number of opportunities themselves. Also, in the context of a developing hospital like AH, there are a lot of challenges for us which wouldn't be there in an established hospital. This requires leaders to be resilient, quick thinkers and good communicators. This need for learning is how we came about developing this nurse leader training programme."
Her Focus on Values and Friendships
Margaret plays an integral role in the development of this hospital and its nurses. Her strength and resilience comes from her values which she strives to instill in every ALEX nurse. She enjoys working on new projects and taking risks because it gives her a chance to do things in a better way.
"It is possible to forge very strong friendships (In AH), and it is made even faster when people go through challenging times together. In the past two and a half years, I have really appreciated working with people who are very different, so much so that it has become a priority that in any team, there is a good mix of people who bring different perspectives and preferences. That's how we become stronger as a team."
In Alex, the hierarchy is flat. What this translates to is that the leaders are very accessible. So any of the nurses can speak to the CEO directly and can also approach Margaret anytime. While structure is important, a flat hierarchy is how to keep nurses empowered and engaged and ensure that the person with the smallest voice can be heard.
Her Future Plans
"(Moving forward) I hope to groom the next generation of nurse leaders through more leaders - this is a big focus for me at this point. I always felt that each generation has got its time, and because of that it is very important that the generation before them become the best at what they do. From there, we (senior nurses) should take a back seat because that's where we can grow in other ways and we can continue to support the profession in our own way."