Certification examination questions may ask the nurse to choose which treatment, medication, or intravenous fluid should be administered to a patient, even though the nurse’s role does not include initiating these orders. It is accurate but oversimplistic to say that the nurse “follows” orders from the physician or advanced practice provider. It is easy to hear the word follower and picture someone passive and unquestioning, but there are various types of followers. Effective followers are not dependent or submissive; they display a high level of independent discernment.1 An effective follower critically evaluates the direction of a leader and actively engages in adding input to further the team’s goals. For example, a physician or nurse practitioner places an order to obtain blood cultures for a patient with sepsis. The competent nurse shows effective followership by prioritizing the blood cultures before antibiotic administration and additionally suggesting a culture of the...
Effective Following: A Counterpart to Leadership
Sara Knippa, ms, rn, accns-ag, ccrn, pccn, is the column’s content expert. Sara is a clinical nurse specialist/educator in the cardiac intensive care unit at University of Colorado Hospital, Aurora, Colorado. She welcomes feedback from readers and practice questions from potential contributors at email@example.com. Sara wrote the introduction.
Allison Mikula, msn, rn, npd-bc, ccrn, chse, is a registered nurse simulation specialist for University of South Carolina–Prisma Health Simulation Center, Columbia, South Carolina. Allison wrote the adult CCRN practice questions and PCCN question 1.
Laura Lee Ullery, msn, rn, ccns, acns-bc, pccn, scrn, is a clinical nurse specialist at Sutter Roseville Medical Center, Roseville, California. Laura wrote PCCN practice questions 2 through 5.
Sara Knippa, Allison Mikula, Laura Lee Ullery; Effective Following: A Counterpart to Leadership. Crit Care Nurse 1 December 2022; 42 (6): 73–78. doi: https://doi.org/10.4037/ccn2022580
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