Luger co-authors manuscript on narrative nursing leadership
Narration helps nurses build relationships and share the impact of their practice.
Shelly Luger, DNP, RN, an assistant professor in nursing administration and leadership in the College of Nursing, recently co-led a narrative nursing pilot project designed to see how sharing one’s stories impacts nurses and whether constructs of authentic nursing leadership theory are evident in conversations.
Luger partnered with Joyce Fitzpatrick, PhD, RN, author and distinguished professor at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio, on this project. Their goal was to empower nurses to tell their stories to improve well-being and prevent stress and loneliness in a high-demand position. Their article, “Narrative Nursing Leadership ‘Story Telling’ and Constructs of Authentic Nursing Leadership,” was published in the February 2022 edition of Nurse Leader.
“A big part of leadership is developing relationships,” Luger says. “One of the main purposes of this project was to empower nurses to tell their stories, build relationships and help nurses feel less alone.”
In the narrative nursing leadership project, a diverse group of student nurse leaders from across the country was taught key techniques of storytelling and then asked to share a poignant story from their careers that best exemplified leadership.
Luger and Fitzpatrick found the experience had a positive and powerful impact on participants, evident in their one-word descriptions of the experience, which included connection, trust, empowering and reassuring.
“What we found was that in every one of the stories some of the constructs of authentic nursing leadership theory were presented,” Luger says.
“Nurses have a lot in common. We got a sense of having that opportunity to share stories was in a way improving their wellness, to be able to have some time to talk to others in similar positions about the experiences they have.”
Luger recommends that nurses be bold enough to ask questions, reflect on patient care experiences, and take time to speak about successes and failures.