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  1. Robinson-Walker, Catherine MBA, MCC


The reality of organizational life can preempt efforts to develop others on a sustained basis. The result is that an institution's future leaders may not be prepared or interested in assuming key roles when they are needed. This article describes why succession planning is important and how it can be achieved regardless of an organization's commitments and available resources. It begins with the imperative of preparing leaders who can achieve the vision for nursing as articulated by the Institute of Medicine's 2010 report Future of Nursing. It continues with compelling ways to think about and promote succession planning inside an organization. It also provides practical options for leadership grooming that can be used in whole, in part, or in customized form to fit an organizational budget of any size. Finally, the article offers strategies for managing barriers that can disrupt or prevent an institution from fulfilling its goal of developing future leaders.