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A Leader in Every Sense

This essay written by registered nurse Candice Roth of Atrium Health’s Levine Cancer Institute, nominates her colleague and fellow registered nurse, Brenda Crump, for CURE®’s 2019 Extraordinary Healer® Award.
BY Candice Roth, M.S.N., RN
PUBLISHED July 07, 2019
Brenda Crump, M.S.N., RN, CRN, is a leader in every sense of the word. She has worked tirelessly for the past several years to transform the clinics for which she is responsible. Brenda is always present and available to her staff. She willingly gets in the trenches with her team to help them learn their roles so that she can better assist them with problem-solving. During times of critical staffing shortages, Brenda can be found covering a physician’s clinic, helping co-workers and caring for patients. This type of support, which goes beyond just working in the manager’s office, is such a positive approach; her staff can see that she practices what she preaches and is always willing to lend a helping hand.

From left: Brenda Crump, M.S.N., RN, CRN, and Candice Roth, M.S.N., RN. Photos By Erica Mark.

Brenda has done a fabulous job since assuming the managerial duties here at Levine Cancer Institute. When she arrived, Brenda was met with many challenges. Teammate engagement scores were low, and staff members were functioning as individuals and not as a team. Shortly after Brenda’s arrival, she and the staff created a team charter using the book “The Energy Bus.” The charter aimed to help staff develop a purpose and mission, handle conflict and collaborate, encouraging not only professional but also personal development. On two occasions, the clinic closed to allow the staff time to participate in this charter. This process showed the staff members that they were more alike than different and that, most important, everyone had a voice. Through these efforts, Brenda has created a space of trust, respect and compassion.

Brenda developed shared governance with various committees, allowing her staff members to grow and participate. Not only does she provide the tools her staff members need to do their jobs effectively, but she also fosters educational opportunities and ensures that all employees, whether they are certified medical assistants, registered nurses, advanced care planners or physicians, feel included. She sends out weekly motivational emails on Monday mornings that help engage the team and get them excited and ready for a busy week ahead; Brenda is also often seen spreading positive words throughout the week. She makes sure to include our solid-tumor advanced care planning team, as many of them are solely inpatient and do not have another way to obtain information that is critical for successful teamwork. She has motivated her team by not only developing the team charter but also living and working within its scope. She provides the team with the tools to work efficiently, spreading positive words and ensuring that she is here for them, whatever their needs may be.

Brenda takes immense pride in being a nurse and is a strong advocate for all nurses. She has a strong knowledge of what it takes to perform distinct roles in her department and clinics so that she can step in wherever and whenever she is needed. These skills and attributes have led her to successfully assume the role of interim nurse manager at another clinic, as well as manage her own. She also graciously took a new inpatient solid-tumor licensed practical nurse under her management, creating an amazing onboarding experience and continuing to be a superior mentor.

When Brenda is not in the clinics, she can be found in classes, working on her professional development. These classes also provide Brenda with the ability to innovate for her teams. She accepts challenges with grace and poise. She is hungry to be the best, and it shows. She is a leader who wants to see her team and others succeed and is willing to go the extra mile and to great lengths to ensure that they do. Brenda is always available to respond to any questions or concerns that a new leader may have and has provided effective guidance that has been invaluable. She is remarkable, humble, kind, skilled, compassionate, driven and motivating — a true example of a nurse leader.
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