Nursing Students at the Island University Learn Leadership During Adele Bemis Lecture

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Leadership was the topic of conversation during the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s annual Adele Bemis Leadership Lecture Series featuring Nora Frasier, MBA, RN, FACHE, NEA-BC. With the recent influx of nurses stepping into leadership roles, Frasier’s presentation titled, “Enhancing Authentic Leadership Behaviors in Nurse Leaders,” was a perfect choice to help ready nursing students for their expanded career responsibilities. Both Island University students and members of the local nursing community were invited to attend the lecture.

“It was exciting to have Nora speak at this event,” said Yvonne Serna, clinical assistant professor of nursing and president of Eta Omicron, the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi chapter of the national Sigma Theta Tau honor society. “Her research is on leadership and professionalism, which is what Sigma Theta Tau is all about. We’re hoping her lecture will empower the students and nurses in the audience to realize that leadership is not a title, but something inside you.”

Frasier, who is vice president and chief nursing officer at Magnet-recognized Methodist Mansfield Medical Center in Mansville, TX, encouraged audience members to participate directly in the presentation through the use of text polling. One question asked audience members to vote on who they thought would be the best world leader based on personality and values. The three voting options were based on real historical figures: Theodore Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Adolf Hitler. Before knowing the candidate’s names, audience members voted for the leader who didn’t drink in excess and was never unfaithful in his marriage: Hitler. Frasier used this as an example that one’s personality and values are only a single part of genuine leadership. She expressed the role nurses play in the health field and why it is imperative for them to act as authentic leaders who manage others through love and caring.

“I believe every nurse is, by definition, a leader,” said Fraiser. “If you’re going to help others heal, help others get better and help promote wellness – people need to trust you. As nurses, it is our job to be that trusted professional who will help without judgment.”

A leader herself, Frasier began her nurse executive career in Corpus Christi at both Doctors Regional Medical Center and CHRISTUS Spohn. She has served as a registered nurse for over 35 years and a nurse executive for the past 25 years.

“It’s very exciting to hear from a leader in the nursing profession and see how she conducts her work,” said Nora Sipas, senior nursing major at A&M-Corpus Christi. “This lecture is great because it gives us different perspectives from nurses outside the Coastal Bend. It’s important to broaden the horizons of nursing students here at the Island University because we are part of the nursing and healthcare industry future.”

The Adele Bemis lecture series is held each spring to stimulate thoughtful discussions about nursing leadership and research. Since its inception in April 2015, it has featured both local and national nursing leaders. It was launched to honor and recognize Adele Bemis, MSN, RN, for her steadfast leadership in the nursing profession and her vision and leadership exhibited throughout her nursing career.