The field of nursing is full of compassionate people who are dedicated to helping patients get healthy. Nurses play one of the most important roles in healthcare and have a lot of great career options these days.
Some nurses have what it takes to excel in leadership roles. While others thrive in direct care nursing roles, nurse leaders have the opportunity to help even more patients by ensuring that their needs are met and the nurses they are assigned are performing at the highest level.
If you’re interested in nursing leadership, then you may be wondering what types of roles are available. Here are some great options to consider!
The Role of Nursing Leadership
When most people think of nurses, they think of the kind person who comes into a patient’s room and gives them their medications and meals, takes their vital signs and helps them with going to the restroom or getting comfortable. While these are key responsibilities for nurses, leadership has a role in the field as well.
Nurses are a diverse group of people with different needs. When they are respected and treated well, they work their best, as we all do! Nurse leaders are compassionate people who understand people, are great at delegating, and know-how to inspire people to do their best work.
Because nursing is such as demanding job, many nurses quickly suffer from burnout. Keeping them well-rested and motivated through long shifts is difficult, but nurse leaders can help. Strong teams have strong leaders!
The Great Rewards of Becoming a Nurse Leader
In addition to helping nurses succeed, nurse leaders are responsible for ensuring that the needs of patients are met. Nurse leaders help with hiring and can make a huge positive difference by bringing on diverse and dedicated talent.
Discrimination is one of the biggest challenges facing modern healthcare. One of the biggest rewards of becoming a nurse leader is having the opportunity to address discrimination and improve overall care for patients. Education and dedication are important for reaching these goals.
Addressing Discrimination & Becoming an Advocate
While it would be nice to believe that discrimination isn’t an issue in nursing, that’s simply not the case. Some patients request white nurses and many hospitals aren’t hiring the diverse staff needed to reflect their patient population. Around 40% of nurses in one survey said they had faced discrimination in the workplace.
Nurses belonging to minority groups are also underrepresented in leadership positions. This is harmful not only to individuals but to the future of healthcare and the welfare of patients as a whole.
But it isn’t just nurses who face discrimination. Patients belonging to marginalized groups are often not taken seriously when they explain their symptoms. Nurses may stereotype certain patients and fall short of providing them with the best possible care.
Nurse leaders have the opportunity to help address discrimination in healthcare and become advocates for both nurses and patients. Balancing the needs of both groups while moving the industry forward represents an enormous responsibility, but nurse leaders are well-equipped for the task.
10 Leadership Styles in Nursing
What do you want people to say about you as a leader? If you’re interested in nursing leadership, then you need to think about what leadership style works best for you, your team, and the organization’s goals.
There are 10 recognized leadership styles in nursing. Most nurse leaders combine some elements of these different styles. While some are recognized as positive and effective leadership methods, others are considered to be poor techniques or have major drawbacks. The 10 leadership styles are:
- Transformational leadership
- Servant leadership
- Democratic leadership
- Affiliative leadership
- Coaching leadership
- Visionary leadership
- Laissez-faire leadership
- Transactional leadership
- Autocratic leadership
- Situational leadership
Styles like autocratic leadership have largely fallen out of style—most people are not motivated by extremely strict and rigid leadership, making this a poor long-term strategy. Situational leadership tends to be the most common leadership style for nurses as it allows them to mix different styles and respond to the situation at any given moment.
Getting Started as a Nurse Leader
There are many opportunities for up-and-coming nurse leaders, but it can be tough to climb the ladder without experience. Getting an advanced nursing degree or simply taking initiative in your role as a nurse are great ways to boost your resume. You can make a huge difference by pursuing a career in healthcare leadership!