Nursing is a profession that primarily depends on your ability to be objective, yet compassionate and empathetic. Along with these, there are a lot of other personal qualities that make for a good nurse, and that are essential for leadership in this field.
If you are one of those who has opted for nursing as a profession, who wants to be the best at your job, and attain a position that is definitely one that commands respect, you are going to have to be able to learn and imbibe the qualities of a good nurse, along with some competent leadership styles.
Important Leadership Qualities for the Nursing Profession
As a senior nurse, you will be expected to fulfill the important qualities of a good leader that include motivation, problem-solving, development of new strategies, planning, delegating, conflict resolution, empathy with the group, encouraging growth of the group members and ensuring a positive output from your group.
As a mentor, your job is to serve as a role model for your staff members. Your group members will learn the various skills and other ethics in nursing jobs by watching you. This is why, you simply must be the best at what you do. By doing your best, you will imply that only the best is expected from your staff.
When you function as a mentor, ensure that your subordinates have the freedom to question your methods, so that they can understand them better. Ensure that you give them the liberty to adapt to your styles and create their own way of working within the organization, as long as it does not interfere with the rules.
Take time out of your schedule, to check how they are functioning, and guide them in the appropriate direction. Keep a tab, but do not enforce rules in a rigid manner as it will not be appreciated. This need not be general, but based on the different activities that a nurse performs everyday.
For instance, begin with mentorship in one particular area of the field, such as the communication techniques, and once your junior has mastered the area, move on to the next. This kind of structured role modeling will help them imbibe the necessary qualities in an effective manner.
Supporting Your Staff Members
One of the most important leadership qualities of nursing is supporting your team under the different circumstances they may face. There can be several issues in a critical field like nursing, and resolving these issues is the job of a nurse in a leader's position.
If the members of your team wish to develop new skills, or apply their theoretical knowledge in a practical manner, it is important that you provide a supportive environment for them to try out these skills. This will provide them with the true method of learning, and develop their skills in a competent manner.
Feedback and Performance Evaluation
Your job is not just to teach the rules of the profession your team members. Your job is also to provide an evaluation of their progress and new skill set. Present criticism in a manner that is not perceived as harsh, but as a genuine effort on your part to encourage their growth in the right direction.
Feedback can, and should also be positive, as this will further encourage your team members to perform better and keep introducing innovative yet efficient ways of becoming independent.
Keep in mind, that every individual is different, and therefore their performance will differ from the other. Keeping the individuals who perform well motivated, and motivating the under-performers is a task you will have to undertake.
Motivation and Encouragement
Keeping your staff motivated to perform well is another leadership skill that you must possess. This includes dealing with burnout, absenteeism, and reducing stress among them. Nursing as a profession is very demanding, and therefore, your staff members are likely to encounter the above-mentioned experiences more often than not.
In a senior position you will have the ability to influence the performance of an individual, and ensuring that the influence is a positive one is your job. You will also be able to delegate the workload effectively, so as to ensure that no one member of the staff is burdened.
Understanding every staff member's needs and requirements is essential, as not every member can deal with stress and other such aspects of the profession very well. As a leader, you will need to support them, and understand and help them in a way that proves useful for them.
Another aspect of motivating staff members is to provide them with a vision for the future, towards the achievement of a common goal, i.e., excellence in the field of health care and nursing. When group members share a vision, and are guided in the same direction, motivating them becomes simpler, and ensures that they unite in the achievement of this goal.
Finally, your goal is to ensure the betterment of the organization you work for, by improving the quality of patient care, which you can do with the application of various creative leadership qualities and management strategies.
As a leader in your field, it is your job to encourage your staff to empathize with patients, understand their needs, and provide the appropriate care for the progress of their health and well-being.
It is only when these qualities are imbibed and followed, that this will lead to patient satisfaction, a healthy relationship between the patient and the nurse, and therefore a quick recovery time. Your goal here is not to put yourself in a senior position for the sake of power, but to use these qualities for the growth of the health care organization.
You must understand, you have to relinquish your position as a senior nurse some day, and what better person to fill your shoes, than someone you have trained yourself, and someone who will live up to the excellent standards set by you?