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All healthcare systems and hospitals require nurse leaders to oversee and manage the team of nurses. Today, as the healthcare industry expands and grows complex, it faces a mass exodus of registered nurse practitioners and a large influx of new talent. This cohort of retiring nurses stands as the most significant challenge for healthcare organizations. And these situations call for the nurturing of leadership skills of new nurse leaders.

Nursing leadership skills refer to the unique set of personality traits and characteristics exhibited by the supervisory nurse. These professionals hold a wide array of distinctive attributes since they are responsible for recruiting fresh nursing graduates and improving patient outcomes. 

They often learn interdisciplinary leadership methods and incorporate them to ensure all their fellow nurses deliver the optimum care. That implies that a nurse leader possesses every skill of a nurse practitioner and many management and leadership skills.

Calling for leadership in nursing

The Bureau of Labor & Statistics prophesies the need for more than 3 million nurses in the forthcoming years. While there is an inrush of the new nurses; however, these freshly minted graduates are a bit wet behind the ears. Considering the growing recognition that every nurse needs to be a leader at some point in their career, organizations are switching relentless emphasis on investing and improving leadership qualities.

Therefore, it's important, all the more so, for experienced nurses to prepare themselves to lead the next generation of aspiring nurses. Today, DNP programs online are available for the feasibility of nursing professionals who wish to fulfill their academic pursuits and become the future leader of the nursing sector. 

The online doctorate empowers nurse leaders to bring about a positive change in the healthcare industry, foresee recent trends, and develop policies that benefit all communities. While it may take some time to rectify the nursing shortage issue, nurses who arm themselves with leadership skills can mitigate the symptoms of nurse burnout. As well, provide encouraging mentorship opportunities.

Leadership skills can be practiced at any role and any level so any work experience is a good starting point for developing leadership skills. Senior nursing roles will push you out of your comfort zone helping you develop the skills you need to succeed as a leader. Applying for PRN nurse jobs will allow you to take your nursing skills to the next level and be ready to be an effective leader.

Effective communication

While excellent communication skills are vital for every healthcare practitioner, they are indispensable for nurse leaders. Sound leadership qualities not only help leaders to achieve successful patient treatment. It also renders assistance when procuring resources and funds.

Besides, nurses spend comparatively more one-on-one time with patients than other healthcare workers. Thus, they serve as an intermediary between patients, their family members, and other healthcare team members. And this gives all the more reasons to master the art of effective communication.

Therefore, try to be precise, clear, and condense the medical jargon into understandable and straightforward terms. Additionally, active listening is a crucial therapeutic skill nurse leaders use to strengthen their relationships. So, focus on verbal messages, posture, body language, and rephrase the words out loud to ensure you understand the speaker's words.



Healthcare is a dynamic industry; everything changes with time – from regulations and policies to medical practices and empirical studies. Therefore, you must know how to ride with the tidal waves of this sector. The ability to readapt yourself to unforeseen circumstances and make split-second decisions is a crucial leadership skill. 

If you wish to acquire a senior leadership role, take note of employees resistant to change. And as the healthcare institutions introduce changes, identify the ones who are warm to the idea of change. That's because these early adopters can make fellow nurses understand the upsides and coax them to implement them. In turn, you can reduce the likelihood of adverse emotional reactions in response to organizational changes.


Conflict resolution

Like any other organization, conflicts are inevitable in the healthcare sector. At times, you might have to deal with complex personalities and play the role of adjudicator. However, before you arbitrate and reach common ground, first determine the nature of the conflict.

If it's just an unimportant issue, it's better to let the involved parties settle themselves. Whereas if the conflict seems to hamper healthcare organizations' performance, it's worth intervening. Be sure to be polite during confrontation so you can thwart the issue before it becomes unmanageable.

It's relevant to note that conflicts not only arise between fellow nurses. They can also spring up at other instances. Such as it may be during the development of diagnosis and treatment plans when healthcare team members have clashing opinions. 



Most leaders consider delegation as a symbol of slothfulness and weakness. Nonetheless, delegation is, in fact, the quality of a strong leader. But, unfortunately, nurse leaders who undertake every task on their own often struggle to get everything done on time. And this ultimately handicaps the performance of the entire nursing unit.

Since it's nearly impossible for a nurse to meet the patient's needs without any help, try to assign tasks to other staff members. While giving the reins to other people might not be easy; however, the best outcomes often hinge on teamwork.

Delegating tasks to the team members doesn't imply an entire transfer of authority and responsibility. Instead, it's more about imbuing a sense of trust in fellow nurses. If you wish to practice effective delegation, ensure to implement the five delegation rights – right people, right task, right supervision, right direction, and right circumstance.


Final Words

Undoubtedly, the healthcare industry is continuously in a state of flux. However, there's one fact that always remains constant. And that is, nursing leadership has a direct impact on the healthcare organization's efficiency, drive, and people – patients and healthcare workers alike.

As the growing number of patients exert pressure on the healthcare facilities to improve care quality and function effectively, the need for nurse leaders will also increase. Therefore, it's crucial to appraise your leadership skills now and then and leverage opportunities to grow and hone your skillset.

Strong leadership in nursing can enhance job satisfaction and reduce employee turnover. Not only this, but nurse leaders who serve as examples can help healthcare systems and hospitals to become truly highly-reliable organizations and reach magnet status.

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