Most nurses consider themselves to be leaders. Whether as the “go-to” person on their shift or a formal manager, nurses are leaders in their everyday roles. They are natural leaders, multi-tasking and navigating the complex healthcare system on a daily basis. However, to become a great and effective nurse leader in complex health systems, advanced education and development of skills and competencies in executive leadership and management are also required.
Need for Nurse Leadership
Nurses continue to be the largest component of the healthcare workforce, and the need for quality leadership is apparent. One of the key recommendations from the Institute of Medicine’s landmark report The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health is that nurses lead change for the advancement of healthcare. The report recognizes the key role of nurses as change agents and points to the need to prepare them to become nurse leaders. These nurse leaders will fill leadership roles and have a voice at the table for change.
Leadership is a skill just like any other. It takes training, education and practice. Although nurses are already leaders in patient care, they may need new skills to venture into the world of business, budgets and staff management. Effective leaders in today’s workplace need to inspire, motivate and guide. This is where additional education becomes a great asset.
Becoming a Better Nurse Leader
Nurse leaders are more than just managers; they are global thinkers and visionaries. They can see beyond the current situation and “outside the box” for creative solutions. Leaders help others reach their highest potential, which translates to a successful team. Each nurse leader has a unique skill set that they have cultivated with years of experience. However, they will need to learn and foster new skills in a more formal educational setting. Effective nurse leaders will need to hone skills such as negotiation, communication, budgeting and team building. Often, it will be necessary for nurse leaders to return to school for more formal education. However, with online RN to BSN programs, the ability to return to school is easier than ever.
Although many nurses may not initially envision themselves as nurse leaders, the need for quality leadership continues to be necessary. For those willing to inspire others and make an impact on patient care, the opportunities are endless.
Learn more about the UL online RN to BSN program.