Navigating interim management roles: From peer to leader and back

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Changes in nursing leadership are a reality in today's healthcare environment and can have a significant impact on the work unit. Interim nurse leaders are being used with increasing frequency, despite the best succession planning efforts.1-4 Interim nurse leaders can often assist in ensuring that a smooth leadership transition occurs.
Much has been written about how to be successful when entering a leadership role, with advice on the first 90 days or first year. However, the literature lacks information on how to successfully transition out of a leadership role, even if that role is temporary as with interim management roles.
Before accepting an interim nurse leader role, there are several questions that candidates should ask to assist in the decision-making process, including:2,3
Although discussing how to transition out of an interim role before starting may seem unusual, conversations specifically directed at addressing this issue will decrease confusion and unnecessary ambiguity in the future. Having a well-developed exit strategy can assist in paving the way for a smooth transition.
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