The COVID-19 pandemic brought about widespread disruption and uncertainty. Now, three months since initial restrictions were put into place, we’re certain of this: Things will never be the same. Our industry, along with the rest of the country, is slowly transitioning into what will be the “new normal.”

Tipton Health Communications hosted a Nursing Leadership webinar on June 9, led by Judith Hahn, director of Professional Practice and Nursing Education at Yale New Haven Hospital. This session focused on how vital nurse autonomy has been during the COVID-19 crisis—and how vital it will be in creating the future of healthcare. Judi gave insight on creating opportunities during this transition period to improve nursing.

Strengthen Yourself as a Leader

The first step in being a strong leader is trusting your team. Yale New Haven leaders were able to keep their head above water during COVID-19 because they trusted in their nurses—they had confidence nurses knew what was best for their patients and could handle any situation that came their way.

When you step aside and let your nurses do what they do best, it not only allows them to thrive and succeed, but also gives them the space to think creatively. Your staff is capable of developing amazing ideas and techniques, and the best way to benefit from their resourcefulness is to give your nurses the autonomy to innovate.

Learn How to Truly Engage With Your Nurses

During a crisis, it’s crucial to communicate with not only the public, but your own staff. Another lesson health systems are learning during COVID-19 is how to communicate more efficiently with their teams.

  • Big decisions require input from all sides. In a crisis, countless meetings are held and rapid-fire decisions are made that affect a multitude of people. Make sure your nurses are present for this decision-making. They have vital input and deserve a seat at the table.
  • Create spaces for input. Design a platform to enable your nurses to share their perspective. What’s on their minds? What are they worried about? Do they have any ideas to share or insights to offer? Creating spaces for you and other leaders to engage with your nurses—and for them to engage with each other—encourages open and productive communications across the board.

Relearn the Basics

In the heat of a crisis, the fundamental rules of leadership and training might get lost in the shuffle. The future of healthcare demands changes: to structure, to training and to leadership. But while you’re designing new tactics for the new normal, don’t lose sight of the basics. Make sure to keep these simple rules in mind as things begin to settle:

  • Maintain constant, open lines of communication.
  • Trust your staff’s knowhow and ability to handle situations.
  • Recognize that your most valued sources are your teams, on every level, from cleaning staff to respiratory specialists.

Navigating the new normal may be overwhelming at first. We’re all faced with a new set of circumstances. But now is the perfect time to take a closer look at things we may have taken for granted before. Look for opportunities within your organization to grow and become a stronger leader! Together we’re creating the future of healthcare.

Learn more from our speakers

Visit to hear more of Judi’s experiences during COVID-19 and how her organization is implementing new processes to create a better future.

Sign up for our remaining June webinars: