President Paula Milone-Nuzzo co-authors a new book, sharing her expertise from a decades long career in nursing, higher education, and institutional leadership.

For Dr. Paula Milone-Nuzzo, leadership is a privilege and a responsibility.

“To do it well, you need to understand yourself and the organizational context in which you're leading,” she said. “You need to be committed to growing, making change, and learning how to be the best leader you can possibly be.” 

Within her new book, Organizationally Minded Nursing Leadership which published in April, she – along with her four co-authors – shares her perspective on leadership, what she’s learned on the topic throughout her career, and how any nurse can become an effective leader. 

As the sixth president of the MGH Institute, she speaks from a place of experience. In her career, she has served in leadership roles as a department head, Chair, Associate Dean, Dean and now College President.  

Many nursing leadership books focus solely on the strategies an individual leader can use to lead an organization – leaving out the role that the organization itself plays. The importance of understanding  the social context and culture of an organization cannot be understated, and individual leadership is shaped by this understanding Milone-Nuzzo was happy to share about these most important characteristics of an organization, and guide nurses in effectively understanding the organization to manage change.  

The book, which she co-authored with four other nurse leaders, offers tidbits and anecdotes on several nursing leadership topics – many of which have not often been covered in existing leadership literature.

“Our idea for this book was different from other nursing leadership books,” Milone-Nuzzo said. “It was exciting to reframe the concept from the perspective of the organization. This was the perfect opportunity for us to add a new dimension to leadership that really hasn't been addressed before.”

Milone-Nuzzo’s own lessons in leadership came throughout her career.

“I’ve learned so much every time I’ve taken a new leadership opportunity and I’ve learned from the people around me who I’ve seen doing great things,” she shared. “But I’ve learned just as much from people who do things poorly and don’t achieve the outcomes they had expected.  I always consider the strategies they used as I think about my own leadership.”

But what she says matters most about leadership is integrity and transparency.

“Integrity is the most important thing that a leader can possess because if they don’t, their community won’t trust them,” she said. “If the community doesn’t trust the leader, there will be very little they can do to be effective.”

As for transparency, she said: “Giving individuals within an organization the information they need to have agency, authority, and responsibility for the work they do is critical, as is holding them accountable.” 

But the lessons never end. Milone-Nuzzo admits that even as the President of the IHP and with her extensive leadership experience prior, she is still learning.

Do you have a story the Office of Strategic Communications should know about? If so, email ihposc [at] (ihposc[at]mghihp[dot]edu).