What Makes a Great Nurse Leader?

nurse leader

Great leadership is something we all want to see around us, yet many times we find it lacking. I once had an opportunity to work in a department that I knew I’d excel in, but after looking at the leader, I changed my mind and decided to work in a different department in that hospital.

This was because the manager of that particular department spent a lot of time complaining about the nurses who used to work for her. I did not want to work for a negative manager.

In this article, I want us to look at the skills that make -not just a good leader, but a great leader.

Critical thinking skills
A great leader gives his or her team a sense of direction and assistance in handling patients; assisting them think on their feet and take swift action while handling complicated cases. Their wealth of knowledge, as well as experience and skills, come in handy to sharpen their critical thinking skills.

A great leader understands how important it is to oversee the nursing team effectively. Critical thinking and analytical skills are part of the daily expectation of a nurse leader.

Speak-up for staff
Great nurse leaders are open with their colleagues -both subordinates and also supervisors. They are not afraid to speak up when an issue needs attention. They do not feel helpless and reach out for assistance from other managers if necessary. They avoid being helpless and overwhelmed by the work.

Great nurse leaders know that voicing out their need for help is not a sign of weakness but of being human and willing to excel.

Embrace innovation
Change is certain, and it is good. The nursing field is always experiencing developments that are brought about by technological advancements, to enable their patients to receive the best healthcare possible. Nurse leaders ought to embrace innovation.

By being willing to accept and embrace change, a nurse manager will make it easy for their team to adapt to the changes by facilitating training for the team, and also check on how well they are transitioning. A great leader enables the team to perform better and be confident enough when experiencing change.

Has emotional intelligence
Knowledge and skills are valuable in the workplace. However, soft skills and emotional intelligence are even more important, especially in people-oriented services such as medical care.

An excellent nurse leader is one who is emotionally intelligent and knows how to relate to their staff and patients. Being able to understand their team will enable them to know when to approach certain issues and how best to tackle them so as to meet their goal.

Excellent communication skills
A great nurse leader is one who has excellent communication skills. Good communication enables them to pass messages that lead to action.

They listen to and understand their team. They act as a link between the nursing staff and the hospital management, effectively representing them and their needs. While communicating, they are clear and direct, leaving no room for ambiguity.

Appreciate their staff
A great leader gives credit where it is due, and shows appreciation for the effort taken by their employees when they have pulled in long hours or attended to a patient well.

Nurses are human beings, and the nature of their work is quite demanding. Therefore, it goes a long way when the nurse leader shows some appreciation and acknowledges their role in the team.

Great leadership is giving service to others, and as a nurse leader, you will need to be equipped with the right set of skills for you to work efficiently.


Posted in : Nursing
About The Author
Joyce Fiodembo is a nurse and author. You can find plenty of resources on her blog; www.internationalnursesupport.com, where she writes to inspire and uplift nurses to thrive. Joyce is the author of “The Foreign Nurses Guide to Settling in America” and “How Nurses Cope with Difficult Coworkers” found on Amazon.com Her other book "Reflections and Prayers for Nurses" can be found on Lulu.com She started her career in Kenya where she worked as a travel, ICU and operating room nurse. Joyce works with nurses who may be struggling with cultural challenges, equipping them to settle down easily. She is also a career counselor, helping nurses with interview skills and resume writing among others. Currently working in Ohio, she enjoys volunteering for mobile clinics abroad. Joyce is passionate about writing and currently has a website with a goal of inspiring nurses worldwide. You can visit her website at www.internationalnursesupport.com
Related Posts