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What inspires you to be a leader?

I regularly receive an interesting array of e-mails on a variety of subjects from members. Recently, I received an e-mail by which I was really intrigued. The following is an excerpt.

A little over a year ago, I was not all that involved in ONS activities. Someone suggested I go to the Leadership Development Institute, which I did. Since that time, so many awesome doors have opened to me, from the Capital Gang to becoming the Virginia State Policy Liaison and most recently a member of the Passing Score Task Force. I would like to make a presentation ... at Congress on how awesome it is for even a nonnationally known nurse to get involved and how far one can go if you try.

Meet David Schneider, RN, OCN[R]. David began his career path as a park ranger. Then he worked as a perfusion technician in cardiothoracic surgery. He decided to attend nursing school at the age of 42 and became chemotherapy certified when working on an oncology/ medical-surgical unit, his first clinical placement at Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, VA. He is now an OCN[R] and is enrolled in a BSN program.

I asked David about the source of his motivation and ability to identify a goal and then pursue it. He says he just keeps looking for things to do and that he follows his gut more than actually formulating a plan. Is he an accidental leader?

David credits several people with encouraging him: his wife, Martha C. Schneider, RN, BSN, MPH, the nurse manager of the telemetry care unit and intensive care unit at Martha Jefferson Hospital; Ilisa Halpern Paul, MPP, ONS health policy associate; and Amy Black, MSN, RN, ANCC, chief nursing officer at Martha Jefferson Hospital. He described how those three professionals provided encouragement at various times in his professional development. David told me that he has become interested in end-of-life care and that his ONS Leadership Development Institute project included attending the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium and becoming a trainer. He has achieved this goal.

ASAE and the Center for Association Leadership have published the results of their study in the book The Decision to Join: How Individuals Determine Value and Why They Choose to Belong. The publication identifies why some individuals join associations whereas others do not. Interestingly, many of the key findings in the book contradict previously held theories.

ASAE is about to embark on another study. The Decision to Volunteer will examine why some individuals volunteer with organizations and why others do not. ONS will be partnering with ASAE as a cosponsor of the study. Perhaps we should ask David!

RELATED ARTICLE: Online Resources

ONS Health Policy Liaisons

ONS Leadeship

Development Institute


ONS Legislative Action Center


American Society

of Association Executives

End-of-Life Nursing

Education Consortium

Georgia M. Decker, MS, RN, CS-ANP, AOCN[R], ONS President

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Title Annotation:WORKING FOR YOU
Author:Decker, Georgia M.
Publication:ONS Connect
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2007
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