Healthcare organizations require nurse leaders to oversee fellow nurses, encourage them to deliver the best quality care, and positively change healthcare. However, with the healthcare industry evolving, the nursing sector faces significant challenges.
In the coming days, the departure of registered nurses isn’t the only cause of an incoming void in leadership and management positions. The early retirement of nurses will also place significant pressure on healthcare facilities when they can’t afford to lose qualified healthcare personnel.
Why? Because these professionals bridge the gap between the sterile surgical settings, bedside and administrative job roles.
The US Bureau of Labor & Statistics forecasts the need for 3 million nurses in the coming years. While there is still an influx of fresh talent, it lacks the experience healthcare facilities need without delays.
Since the current situation isn’t ideal, graduate nurses must develop the essential leadership traits and characteristics healthcare facilities yearn for.
Leadership skills in nursing refer to distinctive personality attributes and qualities depicted by nursing executives to tackle complex challenges head-on and are indispensable for delivering the optimum care in healthcare facilities of all sizes.
Since nurses are naturally gifted with leadership abilities, they take on such roles from the initial days of their careers. But, it takes a lot more to exhibit the best leadership practices, whether it’s about managing the entire department or directing a single case.
Nurses require a broad range of people and practical skills to capitalize on their leadership potential fully.
Leadership Roles in Nursing
There are various leadership roles for nurses who want to grow and contribute to patient engagement. A prominent role would be the Director of Nursing. These professionals are responsible for creating a conducive, healthy, and positive work environment for employees.
While the Director of nursing salary mainly depends on the geographical location, increasing education level can also make space for salary growth. A master’s degree and advanced certifications can help nurses raise their earning potential.
However, for nurses to become eligible for this or other leadership job roles, they must also possess the necessary skills beyond their academic qualifications highlighted below.
- Effective communication
Nurses at all levels should have excellent communication skills for optimum care delivery. From writing detailed notes to jotting down the doctor’s instructions, every single detail requires accuracy.
However, for nurses in leadership roles, communication skills take on a different dimension.
These professionals spend more time with their patients than any other healthcare practitioner. Hence, they act as mediators between patients, their families, and other healthcare staff members. For this reason, the ability to speak and write clearly and concisely is crucial.
Nurse leaders should also know the art of providing positive feedback to bolster employees’ confidence. Sound leadership qualities make it easier to communicate strategies and encourage collaboration among fellow nurses.
Therefore, it is safe to say that top-notch communication skills can prove beneficial in each stage of the nursing career ladder.
Most nurse leaders perceive delegating tasks to the team members as a symbol of weakness or sluggishness. As a result, these nurses take it upon themselves to manage all tasks and tackle challenges, which isn’t ideal.
Taking on challenges without proper delegation is tricky and causes inefficiency, which could lead to medical errors.
While it is never easy to give the reins of command to other people, nurse leaders must realize the significance of teamwork in today’s work settings.
Working collaboratively with fellow nurses can yield better results than dealing with every task and challenge on own.
Therefore, instead of affecting the performance of the entire nursing unit, nurses should spend time with other members, build relationships and familiarize themselves with their skills and expertise, helping them assign tasks without causing conflicts.
It is relevant to note that delegation in no way implies a total transfer of responsibilities. Instead, it is more about infusing trust in teammates.
Every nursing professional possesses empathy as an inherent characteristic in most cases. Now, it’s time for nurse leaders to incorporate the same kindness and compassion while dealing with their teammates.
Since nurse leaders were once graduates, they should understand this job’s stress and emotional pressure. They should try being more empathetic and understanding whenever a fellow nurse encounters any problem.
It’s critical to see issues from another person’s viewpoint. That way, leaders can figure out the deep-rooted causes of failures and create a constructive work environment.
Additionally, they should also assist new nurses in developing emotional intelligence to handle everyday challenges more efficiently.
- Conflict Resolution
The primary responsibility of a nurse leader is to oversee nurses’ performance and boost their morale. However, there may be times when leaders might have to cope with complicated personalities and serve as a liaison between two parties.
Like any other industry, conflicts are inevitable in the nursing profession. Clashes can happen at any time and either between nurses, a doctor and a nurse, or some other healthcare provider.
However, first, determine the nature of the conflict. If it’s not a significant issue, it’s better to let the involved parties settle the case. But, if the clash tends to hamper services, by all means, intervene.
Proper conflict resolution skills lead to enhanced productivity, better deliverance of care to patients, and increased job satisfaction.
Nursing is a dynamic and demanding field that requires inspirational and motivating role models. Today, as the growing number of patients puts more pressure on healthcare organizations to function effectively, the demand for nurses in leadership roles continues to grow.
Experienced nurses should know how to roll with the changes as nursing evolves with time. That way, they can make well-informed decisions and improve care quality.
Effective nursing leadership can lead to increased job satisfaction, reduced employee turnover, and enhanced patient outcomes. Nurses who showcase best care practices and lead by example can help the healthcare facilities reach the magnet status.