July 2023 NEP Partner Spotlight – Bryan Hopper

Bryan Hopper, RN, is our Nursing Experience Project (NEP) Partner Spotlight! Bryan is a Clinical Nurse Leader for an Internal Medicine Unit at King’s Daughters Medical Center. For Bryan, leading allows him the opportunity to pass on the kind, affirming words and support for new nurses that he himself received at the beginning of his career. To see how Bryan utilizes NEP to better support his growing team, read the interview below!

How long have you been in nursing, and what are your favorite parts about it?

I have been in nursing for 15 years and my favorite parts about it are the day-to-day interactions with my patients and my team.


What are your favorite parts of leading a team of nurses?

My favorite part of leading a team of nurses is remembering what it felt like to start out as a new nurse who was nervous, worried I would not be good enough, and overall not sure if it was the right career path for me. With immediate leadership support when I first started, it helped give me the confidence to grow as a nurse and realize this was always the path for me. Being a nurse leader allows me to give back that support to those new nurses who may not be confident or sure this is the right path for them. Learning together and bouncing ideas off one another in efforts to imrpove patient safety and satisfaction is something we take great pride in on our unit.


In what areas has your team improved the most?

I feel the area our team has improved the most is the development of our culture/identity. As we know. the nursing profession can be very complex and hard both mentally and physically on certain days. A simple thank you for all of your help today can go a long way in developing a positive foundation in which you can build your unit culture. Support is vital to team building.

What have you done to engage your nurses to prevent this from feeling like “one more thing”?

To say it isn’t a challenge would be lying. A lot of times, when something  new comes along that we ask our team to take engagement in, the initial reaction is,  “Oh great. Another thing we have to do.” To help change that mindset, I always ask the team to be adaptable and try new things and if it doesn’t work for us, then we will look for another alternative. A lot of our staff have personally mentioned that the NEP program has helped shift their mindset and to recharge their passion for nursing.


In what ways have you seen your nurses implement tips into their work?

I personally felt a close connection to one of our initial NEP tips that were implemented – Lifting Emotional Exhaustion. During the beginning of the COVID pandemic, we were a newly developed med/surg unit building our team from the ground up, and during this time we had to adapt multiple times from being a regular medical unit, to a COVID medical unit, back to a reagular unit and then back again to a COVID unit. It’s no secret the COVID pandemic pushed many people away from the profession. The tips, such as the one mentioned above, helped us remember the “why we are here” and we continue to build upon that.


Thank you, Bryan, for sharing your story with us! We are excited to see what you accomplish in the future with the Nursing Experience Project.

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