Book Review: The Nurse Leader Coach: Become the Boss No One Wants to Leave
Registered Nurse (RN) turnover rates are at a five-year high with 18.7% of nurses having left their position in 2020, up from 14.6% in 2016. The top five nursing units experiencing turnovers are step down, behavioral health, emergency, telemetry, and intensive care. Not only do hospitals incur losses of around $270,000 for every one percent of the RN workforce who vacate their positions, but staff morale and patient outcomes suffer (NSI Nursing Solutions, 2021). Numerous studies have reported burnout and workplace relationships as factors in deciding to leave. Nurse managers play a critical role in employee satisfaction and professional growth.
The culture of nursing is changing, especially in the stress of the pandemic. Nurses are growing tired of being overworked, poor nurse-patient ratios, and tired of being led by authoritarian managerial styles that are outdated, not conducive to work-life balance, and not helpful. Sherman (2019) challenges managers to step back and reflect on what changes they can make in their approach to improve nurse-manager relationships. In her book, The Nurse Leader Coach: Become the Boss No One Wants to Leave, Sherman (2019) helps managers transform, leaving behind older management styles, and bring new life and guidance for leaders. She follows transformational leadership theory utilizing a variety of different evidenced-based leadership skills such as critical personal and professional reflection, coach mentoring, effective communication, conflict resolution, and building team resilience to improve the nurse-manager relationship. This book is essential for all nurse leader coaches who wish to find new ways to support their nursing staff but increase retention, improve workplace relationships, increase unit moral, and grow future leaders. Sherman’s paperback or electronic book, ISBN 173291270X, runs around twenty dollars depending on vendor.
Nurses today do not want to be “managed.” They want a dedicated, caring leader who will help them navigate through their nursing responsibilities and careers, to coach them, provide real-time feedforward, to cheer them on, and help them grow. As leaders with terminal degrees, the Doctor in Nursing Practice (DNP) Essential VIII sets the expectation that leaders help grow and mentor other nurses (AACN, 2006). Sherman suggests nurse managers shed the old “manager” way of thinking and become a nurse leader and coach. A nurse leader coach values each nurse individually, acknowledges nurses have attributes that contribute to their profession, empowers staff by valuing their input, and encourages their personal and professional growth.
American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). (2006). DNP essentials. https://www.aacnnursing.org/DNP/DNP-Essentials.
NSI Nursing Solutions. (2021). 2021 NSI national health care retention & RN staffing report. https://www.nsinursingsolutions.com/Documents/Library/NSI_National_Health_Care_Retention_Report.pdf
Sherman, R. O. (2019). The nurse leader coach: Become the boss no one wants to leave. Rose Sherman.
Brandy Wardrip, MSN Ed, RN
DNP student, Eastern Kentucky University