I have been privileged to work with Christy Leyland since I joined the Pediatric Dialysis Unit team two years ago. At that time, she served as our unit's clinical supervisor. She was instrumental in my orientation as a new team member and was a phenomenal mentor for me as a new pediatric nurse. Christy truly has a gift for leading others, identifying their passions, and envisioning their full potential, often beyond what they can envision for themselves.
I came into the Pediatric Dialysis Unit with a little over a year of nursing experience that was limited to the adult world. From the beginning, Christy expected only the best from me, inspiring me to expect that from myself as well. I came into the unit without confidence in my ability to serve beyond the role of a bedside nurse; within a year of arriving I was serving as preceptor, charge nurse, a clinical champion for plasmapheresis, Unit Based Council Chair, and our unit’s representative to the LCH Service Line. She helped me develop my project to advance on the clinical ladder and I have recently passed my Certified Pediatric Nurse exam with her leadership and guidance. She was able to see growth for me that I would never have envisioned to be possible in such a short period of time. No matter how busy she is, Christy always makes herself available for employees who need her. During all these transitions and times of professional growth, not a day went by that I did not feel that I had all the support I needed from Christy.
In November, Christy was asked to lead and develop the new Pediatric Surge Pool, a team that would include 44 nurses and HCT's established to support the needs of Levine Children's Hospital and Jeff Gordan's Children's Hospital. Her responsibilities have included everything from interviewing and hiring these employees to onboarding them and working with the Levine Children's Hospital CNS team to ensure they receive an optimal orientation. She manages this team without the support roles that most managers have of educators, clinical supervisors, or assistant nurse managers.
In just a few months, Christy has filled half the positions available for the Pediatric Surge Pool. She constantly has new employees starting and continues to oversee those at varying stages of orientation as well as those who have transitioned out of orientation. Again, her ability to see talent in others and grow that talent is evident in this team. She knows each employee personally, taking time to check in with them frequently even though they are scattered throughout the Children's Hospital. As with all her employees, she is very invested in their professional growth. She has encouraged HCT's to pursue nursing degrees and mentored nurses who have expressed interest in becoming certified. Christy even has nurses who are interested in going back to school to become Clinical Nurse Leaders, inspired by her example.