Interim nursing leadership and its ins and outs

Nurse Leader Insider, October 22, 2015

Want to receive articles like this one in your inbox? Subscribe to Nurse Leader Insider!

Jennifer Thew, RN, for HealthLeaders Media , October 20, 2015

The use of interim nurse leaders is common, but information on how-to help them transition to their roles is not. Mayo Clinic's nurse administrator Dale Pfrimmer shares advice on how to support interim leaders.
A certain level of uneasiness is natural when there's a change in nursing leadership. While the new leader is busy trying to get his or her arms around a new positon and develop a mission, vision, goals, and priorities, staff must adapt to a new leadership style and new initiatives.

And if this weren't complicated enough for both parties, adjusting to a new captain of the ship is even trickier when the leadership position is for an interim period.

Having been in an interim position in the past and also having hired interim nurse leaders, Dale Pfrimmer, RN, MS, NE-BC, nurse administrator at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, recognizes there are certain nuances to being an interim nurse leader. But, while using interim leaders is a common practice, information on how to help those taking the positions achieve success is sparse, he says.

"I had utilized interims a number of times and when I did a literature search [so I could] give them articles to help them prepare, [but] there just wasn't much out there at all," he says.

So armed with the hope of sharing success strategies, Pfrimmer and his co-authors wrote the article "Interim nursing leadership: A win-win opportunity," which appeared in the September 2015 issue of Nursing Management. He recently spoke with me and offered his thoughts on interim nurse leadership.

Read the rest of this free article at

Want to receive articles like this one in your inbox? Subscribe to Nurse Leader Insider!

Most Popular