Leadership in nursing: importance and qualities of a nurse leader
Nurses have a significant role in the healthcare workforce. In the last few years, we have seen a higher demand for nurses in every healthcare facility. Healthcare providers require nurse leaders to oversee staff members, take care of patients with severe illnesses, communicate up and down the hierarchy, and train nurses with little or no experience. In addition, nurse leaders accompany doctors in operating rooms and often have to take the lead in emergencies.
Many young and hardworking nurses aspire to become nurse leaders. Nurse leaders have several distinct roles and responsibilities. To be successful in nursing management and leadership, one must evolve and learn as the nursing industry has become competitive due to ongoing changes in healthcare. The approach of hiring qualified nursing leaders has led to improved patient outcomes and reduced errors. As a result, healthcare standards have also considerably improved.
In addition to carrying out specific responsibilities, nurse leaders need to have the following qualities:
The willingness and ability to learn new skills
With the technological breakthrough in the healthcare industry, nurses must be willing to learn and apply technical knowledge to improve patient care. Nurses spend more time with patients, and learning new skills will make them the best fit for a nurse leaders’ role. Nurses willing to improve their management skills through degrees like executive MHA programs online may become successful leaders.
Agility in adapting to changes in the industry
Agility is one of the leading skills for nurses hoping to land in leadership roles. Hospitals and healthcare providers are always willing to implement new techniques and technology within their departments. A lead nurse should be proficient in following any new technology and get their staff to train and adapt to changes quickly. Furthermore, agile nurses are ready to take on challenges throughout their career paths. Where others might see instability at the workplace as a hindrance, agile nurses find it an opportunity to thrive.
Empathy with patients and others
Empathetic nurses are prone to have a more patient-centric approach, making them a perfect fit for the nurse leader role. Empathy in nurse leaders often comes to them naturally. They have to communicate with patients more frequently and are more aware of their needs. Nurse
leaders communicate directly with the patient’s families and, empathizing with them is very important.
Proficient delegation of tasks to staff for overall efficiency
A nurse leader also focuses on instilling a passion for providing the best patient care within their team. They know how to delegate work among their staff and know which staff member will be the best fit for a particular task. They are the best judge of their team members’ interpersonal skills and can assign tasks to make the most of their abilities.
Ability to provide mentorship and guidance to young trainees
A nurse leader can cultivate a positive work environment for continuous learning amongst their staff by providing mentorship. They can guide trainees to be passionate about patient care and inspire young nurses to lead in the future. Nurses can empower their team to work well under pressure and motivate them through tough times. Nurses are often prone to face issues like bullying and burnout; a lead nurse keeps their spirits high by supporting and encouraging them throughout. They listen to the complaints and problems of their team
members, addressing them in the best possible manner.
Effective communication within the team.
Clear and effective communication in healthcare is essential for providing the best patient care. Lead nurses often deliver messages from patients to their doctors or might even act as an intermediary between a team of doctors. It is their responsibility to carry forward any communication effectively. Active listening, carefully structuring the message and, making sure the receiver understands it is all part of a lead nurse’s role. They also have to speak to patients and their families. It is their job to give instructions regarding patient care and take feedback of any sort.
Critical thinking in stressful situations
A lead nurse should implement their knowledge when making decisions and think critically in specific circumstances. Nurses often have to deal with highly stressful situations where they are most likely to make critical decisions regarding patient care. Lead nurses should have the ability to make quick and complex decisions in emergencies. Although this skill improves with time, the more nurses engage in crucial decision-making, the more confident they get. This experience and confidence will help them acquire lead positions without hesitation when the time comes.
Being able to overcome conflict resolution
In the healthcare sector, there are often situations that result in conflict amongst peers. Conflict resolution, in lead nurses, is a crucial skill. Conflict resolution helps nurse leaders to resolve issues and improve teamwork, productivity, and patient comfort. Conflict resolution is also part of developing patient care plans and diagnoses. It comes in handy for lead nurses where the healthcare team may often have a conflict of opinion.
Emotional Intelligence to deal with stressors
Emotional intelligence enhances psychological resilience and works on amending stressors. Nurses should be able to deal with emotions and cope with stressful situations. They have to deal with patients, their families, doctors (who often rely on nurses) to communicate stressful
messages. During tough times nurse leaders have to manage their own emotions and help others regulate their feelings. Higher Emotional intelligence in nurses is a leadership quality since they can spark intellectual stimulation by inspiring and motivating their peers. Emotional intelligence can help a lead nurse succeed and stay mentally healthy during a crisis. Additionally, they can help keep the emotions of patients and other staff members under control as well.
Nurse leaders have a considerable contribution to providing quality healthcare. Nurse leaders should continuously work to improve practices inpatient care to achieve better outcomes. They should be ready to opt for any learning opportunities coming their way. Being a nurse leader requires a passion for providing high standard patient care. Post and pre-op patients communicate directly with lead nurses. Patient outcomes and satisfaction improve when lead nurses are qualified and can interact with them efficiently.
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