The Bandera Leadership Training (BLT) program located in Arizona began in 2019. It was inspired by another great program in Texas known as the KEMP program which is led by Virginia Earley and the Keystone East team. These programs invest in the growth and leadership development of nurses and give them an opportunity to become the next Director of Nurses.

It was excitement all around to learn the BLT class has produced 8 Directors since its induction. The team that help put this class into fruition are Clinical Resource-Linda Elder, DON at Chandler Post-Acute & Rehab-Jaymee Jerdee and DON at Camelback Post-Acute Care & Rehab-Tony Sandoval.

Tony leads the clinical group in Phoenix, Arizona and believes in leadership development with these key principles in mind:

1. Culture: The culture of the environment in which you work is so important. This includes learning from our mistakes and having lots of fun while you work!
2. Ownership: A leader who takes ownership of their position is worth more than 10 who simply “manage” their work. He references Camelback Post-Acute where he has been the DON for the past two years. The same team that works there now was there when he arrived but the results of their work is so different due to the leadership in the facility.
3. Passion for teaching: it is important to share your successes with others! “We need to make it a priority to be multipliers. Our model doesn’t work because of a few brilliant people, it works because we all show up every day expecting not only to learn, but to teach.” ~Toni Sandoval

A few leaders have noticed the success of this program:
“I have to brag on behalf of Bandera and the clinical leaders in Arizona couldn’t be more excited to see our teams investing in our people’s growth and leadership development. With these DON’s, Bandera was able to cover vacancies from retirement, new acquisitions and two actually transitioned into the DON roles vacated by our own clinical leaders, Holly and Sheila.” ~Julie Uychiat

“What I love most about that is the humility it takes for us to embrace learning from partners and not always having to come up with the best idea/ program! And the program is run by a clinical resource and a couple DON’s who are passionate about giving their peers the opportunity they have! Viva Bandera! What an example!! 8 new DON’s in a year!!!” ~Marivic Uychiat

“We as Bandera clinical leaders empowered and supported her (Linda Elder) in running the program. So exciting to see her grow.” ~Maya Castillo

“What has also been exciting to see is the different leaders from our teams speak or participate in panels at the BLT. It is giving them a platform to present and share their best practices. Growth for everyone!!” ~Sheila Summey