By its very nature, nursing is a call to leadership. The American Nurses Association’s Leadership Institute describes a nurse leader as “a nurse who is interested in excelling in a career path, a leader within a healthcare organization who represents the interests of the nursing profession, a seasoned nurse or healthcare administrator interested in refining skills to differentiate them from the competition or to advance to the next level of leadership.”

Nurse leaders are key drivers for the creation of quality work environments and quality patient care outcomes at the frontline of healthcare delivery.  In this era of transparency and the face of a pandemic, their role is now broader outcomes must be sustained.

The Nurse Leader Role

Nurse leaders are more focused on setting standards, driving transformation, and influencing their teams. They are in charge of fulfilling the organization’s mission, vision, and strategic long-range plans.

Their role involves policy setting and overseeing quality measures, dealing with regulatory compliance, taking on fiscal responsibilities, and many more. They are responsible and accountable for the overall quality of patient care delivery, patient and staff satisfaction, and organizational outcomes.

Nursing leadership is about influencing others to accomplish common goals. It is complex and multifaceted as nurse leaders must be able to provide support, motivate, coordinate and be resourceful to enable individuals and teams to achieve collective objectives.

Qualities of a Nurse Leader

An effective nurse leader has a distinctive set of personal qualities: integrity, courage, initiative, and an ability to handle stress. This individual is admired in their efforts to think critically, set goals, and skillfully communicate and collaborate. While many leadership qualities in nursing can naturally benefit a nurse leader throughout their career, the willingness and ability to learn new skills will help them succeed in their nurse leadership role.

Leading Change for Sustainability 

In today’s quickly evolving environment of healthcare, it’s time to develop sustainable leadership. This means understanding, developing, and incorporating day-to-day practice to achieve the organization’s strategic and long-term success.

To ensure sustainable goals within the healthcare system, nurse leaders must have or demonstrate the following qualities:

  • Capability and capacity to shape, develop, support, and drive forward evidence-based health and social care policy
  • Political, strategic, and advocacy skills to secure and sustain a credible position at the highest level of policy development within government
  • The highest standards of research education to support the evidence base, across the local, national, and international political and health and social care contexts
  • The ability to identify, understand, and work with key stakeholders both within and external to nursing

While the definition of leadership in nursing often includes qualities such as encouraging, inspirational, and supportive—truly successful nursing leadership must be equipped to evolve as the nursing industry itself experiences ongoing change and shifts.

For more nursing tips and resources that can help you establish good communication, keep on visiting this blog. You can also check out Nurse X’s and O’s podcast where you can learn useful insights to become a successful nurse.