Nursing leadership is an important part of providing quality care to patients in hospitals. While most nurses are capable of leadership roles, it is the responsibility of the hospital and physicians to nurture the skills a nurse needs to lead others and encourage professional nurses to strive for excellence. Taking measures to encourage nurses to take on more responsibilities starts with nurturing the skills that allow individuals to step forward in any situation.
Placing Nurses in Appropriate Positions
A hospital needs to ensure nurses are placed on the appropriate team to nurture their individual skills or area of specialization. According to Terese Hudson Thrall on Hospitals and Health Networks Magazine, the right placement of nurses in a position of leadership plays a vital role in developing the skills to make important decisions.
While a registered nurse (RN) is taught different medical skills in school, leadership is an area that requires hands-on experience to make appropriate decisions. Placing new leaders in a challenging position will result in a negative situation. New leaders should always start on a well-developed and balanced team because the team is able to continue working even if the leader makes a poor decision.
Nurturing leadership skills start with providing nurses the opportunity to learn from experience. The placement of a nurse is an important part of nurturing the skills that set leaders apart from followers. It is also important to ensure the nurse is capable of meeting the challenges of the team rather than allowing the entire group to fall apart with the leader.
Nursing leadership is a learned skill that takes time to develop. Any nurse that is new to a position of leadership should start out in a strong team. Older nurses with years of experience in a leadership role are best suited to challenging positions that will take more work and fast decisions to accomplish the goals of the group.
Encourage Nurses to Speak Up
A challenge associated with nursing at every level is speaking up for the team, patients or even about new ideas that might make a team more efficient. Hospitals can encourage nursing leadership by allowing the professionals to speak about their opinions, ideas or even just the challenges of the position.
According to Ashland University, nursing leaders need to think strategically about the best solutions to problems. By encouraging nurses to speak up about their opinions or ideas, the hospital is allowing the professionals to share new thoughts and think through the situation before putting any action in place.
Leadership skills require the ability to think about every eventuality based on the situation. Nursing professionals must learn to consider every facet of the situation and then make the best decision based on the facts. Encouraging nurses to speak up about their opinions, ideas or the problems will allow the whole team to provide insight that shapes the ability to think about different perspectives and possible downsides to actions.
Encourage Continued Education
Education is a key part of improving nursing leadership skills. According to Terese Hudson Thrall, nurses can take continued education courses to sharpen nursing skills and improve leadership skills.
Seminars, classes and other educational programs are available to improve the ability of nurses to accomplish different tasks. While the basic education does not focus on leadership, most seminars are available to help nurses learn from the experiences of others. Continued education is also important to teach new leaders the different technological advances and tools that will help improve the efficiency of the team.
Depending on the specific area of specialization, the best nursing education courses will vary. Regardless of the individual, hospitals should encourage all nurses to continue their education and keep up with the latest information in the medical field.
Developing nursing leadership skills is the responsibility of the hospital. Nurses need to take on more responsibilities and leadership roles to help improve patient care and ensure that the hospital is running smoothly. Nurturing the development of leadership skills starts with allowing nurses the opportunity to speak about their ideas and encouraging them to seek further education for the future.