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The Importance of Nursing Leadership and Management

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May 19, 2022

The role of sound leadership in the success of any system cannot be overemphasized.

Nurses comprise the majority of the healthcare workforce. They require the most significant possible attention to leadership and management. 

The need to increase the overall quality of care within the healthcare systems calls for an increase in leadership quality. 

The nursing profession demands a level of leadership abilities in performing day-to-day duties. But there is a higher level of leadership in nursing that requires diligence, observation, and dedication to excellence. Nurses with these capabilities are perfect fits to serve nurse leaders.  

What is Nursing Leadership?

Nursing leadership can motivate, inspire, and influence nursing staff and other healthcare workers to collaborate and achieve peak performance and organizational targets. 

The success of the entire team determines the success of nursing leadership. Successful nursing leadership can evolve and adapt to the ever-changing climate of the nursing industry. 

Eventually, medical errors reduce when effective nursing leadership within an organization, patient outcomes improve, and staff retention increases. Therefore, the healthcare organization benefits the healthcare workplace as a whole. 

What is a Nurse Leader?

As described by the ANA Leadership institute, a nurse leader is a nurse who represents the interest of the nursing profession. They are interested in refining and upgrading their skills to differentiate them from their competition and advance them to the next leadership level. 

A nurse leader understands the relationship between an effective team and a better rendition of quality care to patients. 

They create and implement daily action plans geared toward your healthcare organization's long-term success. 

The nurse leader is responsible for solving patient safety, bedside care, staffing shortage, and budget constraint problems. The nurse leader must guide nurses and ensure they operate according to optimum standards and effectiveness. 

The role of a nurse leader is quite demanding as it requires excellent multitasking ability coupled with the ability to perform well under pressure. Even the most experienced leaders still find it challenging to achieve this balance. 

Typically, the responsibilities of nurse leaders are summarized as follows;

  •  First, they are responsible for ensuring the safe delivery of care within the healthcare facility. It entails that they must be well acquainted with the safety standards of the medical profession and within the healthcare facility they work. 
  • Successful nurse leaders are up to date and well-informed about best medical practices. They regularly study professional publications and subscribe to health notices. As nurse leaders upgrade their knowledge, they carry their nursing team along. 
  • Most importantly, they monitor the care that patients receive to ensure that their nurses adhere to quality treatment standards. Nurse leaders also communicate frequently with patients to receive feedback/complaints about their care and address them accordingly. 

Qualities of a Good Nurse Leader 

There are certain qualities that nurses need to possess to influence other nurses toward achieving organizational goals and improving patient outcomes.

Aside from advanced technical skills the nurse leader should possess in performing their day-to-day job, they also need to develop social and interpersonal relationship skills over time. 

These skills will ensure that nurses effectively communicate and engage with their colleagues, subordinates, and patients. 

Some of these qualities include; 

Decision Making

Junior and Resident nurses look up to nurse leaders for day-to-day directives and guidance. Nurse leaders often have to deal with making operational decisions within the facility. Therefore, the nurse leader should possess good decision-making abilities.

Nurse leaders who can make efficient and transparent decisions help create a direction-driven and more organized health sector. 

Effective Communication 

Excellent communication techniques are a must-have for nurse leaders. It is one thing to know where you are going, but it is another thing to communicate where you are going to your followers accurately. Without effective communication, there is no leadership. 

Effective communication encourages teamwork and collaboration among nurses on all levels and positions in the healthcare industry. Excellent communication is never complete without active listening and feedback. Therefore, communication techniques should leave adequate room for feedback. 

Conflict Resolution 

The nursing profession is not exempt from conflict, which is a certainty of human interactions. That makes conflict resolution an essential quality nurse leaders must possess.

Conflict resolution skill gives nurse leaders the ability to resolve issues among nurses and health workers. 

Consequently, productivity and patient satisfaction are enhanced. Conflict resolution is also essential in situations where members of the care team may have differing opinions about diagnosis or treatment. 

Growth Mindset 

A growth mindset means the ability to frequently reflect on existing processes and as, "how can we do this better?". Especially in areas where the nursing team is not meeting expectations. 

Nurse leaders need to constantly evaluate themselves and their workflow to determine what works and what doesn't. Ultimately, they should be innovative enough to develop action plans to improve inefficient processes.

Why is Leadership Important in Nursing?

Nurses form a core part of the healthcare workforce. Therefore nursing leadership is critical for any healthcare system to produce high-quality care.

Studies have supported the notable correlation between strong leadership and healthy work environments. Nurses and health workers tend to thrive in a healthy work environment. In a healthy work environment, a culture of the safe practice is cultivated, which will improve patient outcomes. 

COVID-19 pandemic has placed more demands on the healthcare system that nurse leaders are well suited to meet. Needs like nursing shortages, nurse burnout, low staff retention, the retirement of registered nurses, and healthcare reform. 

The global pandemic has plunged the healthcare system into a climate where effective nursing leadership has become a critical differentiator between low and high-quality healthcare. 

When nurses have a role model to look up to, It is easier to move towards organizational success. The nurse leader will have the influence and resources to move healthcare to the next level. 

Takeaways

Nursing leadership and management are crucial to providing high-quality patient care. By having solid leaders and managers in place, nurses can collaborate and work together to deliver the best possible care to their patients. 

In addition, nursing leadership and management also help ensure that nurses can maintain their professionalism and continue to provide excellent patient care.

Therefore, organizations must invest in nursing leadership and management development programs to create an environment where nurses can thrive.

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