News / Periop Café

40 Fast and Future Leaders of Surgical Services: Jennifer Nicklaus

December 12, 2019


40 Fast and Future Leaders of Surgical Services: Jennifer Nicklaus

I know its time to go home when… This is a difficult one to answer because it varies and is so dependent on what is happening in my unit and in my hospital. I believe that if my unit solely depends on my presence to run efficiently, I have missed the mark on leadership. My team is the gears and I am there to just ensure they have what they need to operate safely and efficiently. So, I guess the short answer is I know it’s time to go home when my team is adequately prepared from the next day.

Sometimes it’s not what you know, its… What you figure out along the way. The second you know it is the second you forgot this is health care and it changes by the second. Learning is growing and growing is where the magic happens.

One little thing I pay attention to is… Is my staff smiling when they see each other or me? That’s important to determine what the pulse is. Genuine happiness is a tell for a satisfied staff.

Best advice I ever received… Make friends with the housekeeping staff. Patients tell them all and a clean hospital gets better reviews than a dirty one.

My mentors are… I have been fortunate to have many great leaders as mentors in my career. I have been able to draw from their expertise and guidance to shape my leadership style. My hard work ethic has been influenced by my family and they have shown me that hard work can help you reach goals you never thought you could achieve.

I am here for… I think that everyone deserves to feel safe at their most vulnerable moment. That moment is often when they are in surgery. It’s my passion to ensure that I lead a team that is compassionate, dependable and also passionate about taking care of our community.

The future of surgical services is… The newest person on the team and our students. The future is dependent on how we build and mentor our future leaders. We should be on the constant hunt for who is going to replace the best of us, invest in them and ensure they have what they need to be successful.

The dumbest thing I ever did… Not taking advantage of an opportunity that scared me. I learn the most about my abilities and growth when I take advantage of those opportunities.

The smartest thing I ever did… Train, mentor and develop a strong team of leaders

If I hadn’t been a Director of Surgical Services, I would have become a… I have always wanted to be a nurse. I knew I found my home in Perioperative Services so, I can’t imagine being anywhere else.

It is Whitman Partners’ honor and mission to support and advance the surgical services industry by facilitating the dissemination of new ideas in leadership, technology, and best practices. Identifying and sharing the achievements, inspirational stories, and insight of emerging leaders is key to driving effectiveness, efficiency, and patient satisfaction for OR departments of all sizes and scope.

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