What Do Nurse Leaders Do in Healthcare?

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Strong leadership is an essential factor for success in a variety of professional environments, and it’s especially necessary in the healthcare industry, where patients need to be provided with the best standards of care and there are lots of high-pressure situations to deal with.

Nursing is definitely a career that comes under this category and excellent management and leadership in nursing is always needed to ensure that nursing teams are working together as efficiently and effectively as possible to ensure that their patients are provided with the best standards and quality of care.

Good nurse leaders are essential for managing and coordinating healthcare professional teams, advocating for patients, upholding and improving the standards of patient care across the board and in some cases, playing a key part in healthcare policy and decision-making to contribute to the continuous improvement of the healthcare industry.

Here are some of the main reasons why good nurse leaders are so important to the healthcare system today.

Ensuring Success:

A good nurse leader is somebody who is able to create and promote a healthy work environment, where nurses and other healthcare professionals can be enthusiastic and passionate about the work that they do. A good nurse manager or leader is a person who sets a strong and exemplary example to their teams when it comes to the work that they do, ensuring that nobody in the workforce is satisfied with anything less than giving 100%. A strong and effective nurse leader will hold their teams accountable and ensure that everybody conducts themselves in a professional manner by providing the tools and resources that they need. They are professionals with excellent communication skills who can ensure that instructions, feedback, and information are provided clearly.

Promoting Growth and Improvement:

Nurse leaders are committing to promoting the growth and improvement of not only themselves but also the members of their team. They are constantly analyzing their own work in order to come up with new and better ways of doing things and work closely with their team to identify areas for improvement and put systems and strategies in place in order to achieve this. They are always on the lookout for changes that can be made to improve the standards of patient care and boost the performance of their team, whether that means additional training, new ways of doing things, or investing in better equipment and resources for the team.

Improving Teamwork:

The best nurse leaders know just how important it is for the team to work together well. Not only are they heading up the teams that they lead and work with, but they will also be a great team player themselves, setting a shining example to the workplace. All nurses need to have excellent interpersonal skills in order to ensure that they are able to work effectively and successfully when it comes to providing patient care and ensuring that all necessary steps are followed correctly. Nurse leaders ensure that not only themselves but everybody on the team is able to communicate clearly and effectively with one another to encourage stronger teamwork and achieve goals together.

What Skills Does a Good Nurse Leader Have?

In order to achieve the above and success as a nurse manager or leader, the nurse should possess a certain level and set of skills. If you are currently working as a nurse and are interested in working as a nurse leader or manager in the future, you can develop the skills that you need to succeed in this career path with BSN to DNP programs that are designed to prepare you for an advanced nursing career.

Some of the most important skills for nurse leaders and managers include:

Communication Skills:

The nurse manager is tasked with ensuring that the team are always aware of the latest situation and have all the information that they need at any given time in order to provide the best standards of patient care. To do this, they will need to develop strong communication skills and be skilled in not only putting information across clearly and making sure that it is understood but also have excellent listening skills. Listening skills are not only crucial when working directly with patients, but the nurse leader will also use these skills on a daily basis when conversing with their teams, listening to concerns, and identifying areas for improvement.

Collaboration and Teamwork Skills:

In order to achieve the strong working environment that every healthcare setting needs to succeed and provide excellent care, a nurse leader will need to be highly skilled in collaborating and working well together with others. Along with collaborating with members of their team to put strategies for improvement in place, nurse managers will often be required to work together with other healthcare professionals, board members, policymakers and many other people in order to get the best results for their workplace and team. Being a good team player and improving collaborative working skills will not only help nurse leaders get the best results for their workplace, but also allows them to set a strong example to their team members.

Negotiation and Conflict Management Skills:

Nurse leaders and managers are often nurses who have moved away from providing patient care and into a career that mainly involves managing and working with people. Because of this, they will need to possess strong negotiation and conflict management skills. There may be situations where you will need to negotiate with members of the team when setting schedules, for example, or determining where professionals will be working on any given shift.

Conflict management skills are crucial since nurse managers will often be one of the first points of call for employees who are dealing with problems at work and need assistance in solving the issue. To do this effectively, nurse leaders need to use the empathy that is so important in their job as a healthcare professional, while being firm and confident in their authority.

Nurse managers and leaders are an essential part of the healthcare system, working to keep healthcare settings running well and ensuring that excellent patient care is provided.