What Skills Does a Nurse Need to be an Effective Leader?
The possession of leadership skills within the nursing profession is vital to creating healthcare reforms that provide efficient patient care and inspiration to others to demonstrate compassion in nursing. Nurses with leadership skills can be extremely influential by empowering others to make changes as well as by driving projects, striving to make improvements to patient care, and making sure that their team works as a cohesive unit.
There are a number of core skills that are required to be a successful leader in the nursing profession. Here are a few of these skills.
Seeing the broader picture
Those in leadership roles need to be able to balance everyday demands with the desire to begin working toward a vision of a better future. Nurses need to be able to understand the implications of healthcare trends both nationally and internationally and the impact that these trends have on the provision of care at all levels. The success of healthcare systems in the future is dependent on the ability to understand a community’s needs in addition to any inequalities. Nurses also play a vital role in the influence of strategic change because of their expertise and knowledge.
Influencing change with expert knowledge
In order to fully utilize nursing leadership skills, nurses need to specialize in their nursing practice area and invest in themselves by pursuing education and signing up for the likes of workshops and seminars, joining committees and professional associations, and staying up to date with the latest research.
Another leadership skill is the ability to share ideas with other people via networking, as this can influence change at a faster rate and result in positive attention from colleagues. Sharing knowledge to make other people become more successful will drive up standards of care and provide inspiration to others to further develop their nursing careers. Awareness of future trends offers the benefit of being able to keep others informed and influence change, particularly in discussions and meetings with senior management.
Staying abreast of technology
Technology is continuing to change the way that patients are managed, cared for, and provided information. From telehealth, mobile devices and apps, and national electronic health records to smart infrastructure, nurses are aware that technology may be the way to unlock a brighter future for healthcare. Nurse leaders need to understand how to successfully integrate technology and ensure the confidentiality of their teams when utilizing these new technologies.
Elevating and empowering team members
Effective leaders have to possess the ability to empower and inspire members of their multidisciplinary healthcare team in order to accomplish a common goal, whether that is to optimize patient outcomes or to roll out a new project. Leaders need to have good collaborative working relationships that are based on good communication, conflict resolution, management, mentoring, and supporting colleagues.
Nurse leaders need to understand team dynamics and the special qualities that each person can bring to the team, while also having the power needed in driving collective change. It is vital for team satisfaction as well as patient care to have a transformational and positive work culture in your healthcare organization.
Nurse leaders have to be proactive and visionary in a time of great challenges and rapid changes. From the recruitment and retention of workers to organizational restructuring, nurse leaders need to be capable of not just adapting to and embracing change, but also encouraging and guiding their teams in new directions. With the such rapid change in our world, most recently thanks to the global COVID-19 pandemic, nurses have to see the right moment to enact change to make proactive and direct improvements, empowering team members to spread change and seek out new innovations to improve patient outcomes and overall standards of care.
Driving improvements in finance
The business of caring needs to be fully understood now more than ever, from the way that the bottom line is impacted by patient outcomes, to giving better support to nurses, to making more efficient budgets. Skilled leaders have to make more efficient budgets without making sacrifices to the standards of patient care, while also understanding how to ensure that budgets are allocated in the most effective ways and to give priority to those areas in the greatest need.
Where leadership skills can take you in nursing
There are many directions that a nursing career can take you in healthcare, particularly if you are in possession of leadership skills. Many of these areas offer the chance, to begin with, entry-level positions, where it is possible to work up to administrative leadership roles. The ability to successfully interact with patients, staff members, or equipment needs to be matched with a corresponding level of education in order to achieve a leadership position.
Professional education can be acquired with accredited programs such as the DNP executive leadership program offered by Baylor University. It provides students with competencies and executive knowledge in influential leadership, transformative care models, and data-driven business strategies. The program is centered on the Adams Influence Model, one of the main frameworks for nurse leaders.
Professional education is one of the steps needed to gain nursing credentials. Graduates have to display the complete range of their knowledge, competency, and skillset that will be of vital importance to the safety of their future patients, which is why exams play such a crucial role in receiving permission to practice.
Entry-level RN positions help individuals to join the workforce as quickly as possible, but the higher nursing qualifications you possess, the more likely it is that you will be hired by an employer and the greater the likelihood that you will end up in a leadership position.