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Essentials of Nursing Leadership and Management

Career News August 24, 2013

Nursing leadership management is something that all hospitals need to take seriously. While all nurses will take the same basic classes in school that teach them the technical skills and medical knowledge that they need in order to be quality nurses, most schools do not include classes on becoming an effective leader and learning to be a good manager. However, as good nurses are promoted through the ranks, leadership skills become essential to their job. Some nurses are promoted because they are excellent at taking care of patients and work well with others, but that doesn’t mean they know how to be a good manager. The following are five leadership skills every hospital should promote within its nursing units.

Essentials of Nursing Leadership and Management

Communication — No matter what field a person is a part of, being a good communicator is essential to being an effective leader and manager. The nursing field is no exception. Hospitals should help encourage nurses to work as a team and to communicate with one another. This ensures that every patient receives the best care possible, no matter how many shift changes they go through. When all of the nurses are asked to keep communication a priority, anyone who is promoted will know how to foster this skill among the rest of the staff.

Self-Confidence — Nurses who are charge nurses or unit leaders must have self confidence in themselves. They need to be able to make decisions quickly and feel comfortable with the decisions that they have made, and not spend time second-guessing themselves. Doctors’ offices and hospitals should promote self confidence within the nurses, allowing them the room to make minor mistakes and to grow within their career. Instead of bringing nurses down when something goes wrong, help them learn from their mistakes and build up their confidence so they can lead better in the future.

Business Management — Students who go into nursing school often think that business is the furthest industry from their own career path. However, that is not always true, as nurses who are promoted to managers must have good business sense as well. Business classes are typically not a part of the nursing school curriculum, so hospitals should offer nurses the opportunity to work on their business skills throughout their career through conferences and seminars.

Planning and Data Analysis — Data is an integral part of a medical career, and the best nurses are able to use data to help determine a patient’s care plan, as well as develop game plans for possible future emergencies. Hospitals should work with nurses on providing the proper data and ask current leaders to challenge nurses to analyze that data. This helps to groom nurses for future leadership positions, ensuring that any floor of the ward will run smoothly no matter what.

Prioritizing — All patients have needs at any given time of the day, but the best nurses know how to manage those needs accordingly. Some might need medication right away, while others have a complaint, but it is not life threatening. Hospitals need to encourage nurses to prioritize accordingly, so that when the time comes for them to be in a leadership position, they will know how to delegate tasks and get goals accomplished each and every day. Prioritizing is key in a medical setting, because unforeseen things are going to happen daily and nurses need to be able to handle those changes.

Nursing leadership management is something that more and more hospitals and doctors’ offices are taking seriously. The impact that a quality manager can have is enormous, since the rest of the nurses on the staff will respond and do a better job accordingly. This is a program that hospitals have to be proactive with, since it is not inherent for a nurse to automatically be a good leader. The best nurses often work well on an individual basis, caring for patients and responding during a crisis. They can also be good managers, but they will have to be taught the proper skills. By asking all nurses to participate in nursing leadership management seminars, the entire unit will be groomed to be potential candidates for promotions throughout the years.

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