Seven Ways For Nurses To Become Leaders

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Nurse leaders represent their profession and all related people in healthcare and promote teamwork and patient wellness. A nurse leader’s typical responsibilities include ensuring better patient outcomes, reducing medical errors, and improving patient care while assisting the complete team.

They are team leaders who collaborate with other healthcare team members to look at the bigger picture and redesign the care environment for the better.

To be a leader in healthcare, you stand out from the rest of the crowd. One of the best ways to do this is by getting involved in new and innovative practices that can improve your workplace.

Here are some ways for nurses to become leaders in healthcare by implementing these innovations today!

1. Continued education

Nurses and other healthcare professionals shouldn’t undervalue the importance of continuous education. A capable nursing leader knows that pursuing higher education is the fastest path to job advancement.

Nurse leaders with the proper education and degrees can take more dynamic roles, such as nurse managers. Nurse managers supervise nurses in their department, as well as staff scheduling, problem-solving, screening, and interviewing. To advance as a Chief Nursing Officer or any other leadership role in Nursing, you must have at least a master’s degree, like a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN).

In the U.S., there are nearly 4.2 million registered nurses. Of these, only about 2% will become nurse chiefs. There are multiple avenues to explore if you want to know how to become a Chief Nursing Officer or earn a BSN.

Remember, a BSN is necessary so that nurses may develop their abilities and understand how to use them in a healthcare environment. The University of North Dakota, among other universities, offers courses that educate students on the core nursing duties they can carry out with practice.

Becoming a nurse chief is not an easy task. It requires years of experience and dedication to the profession. However, it is possible to achieve this goal if you are willing to put in the hard work. Additionally, several certifications help nurses in being the best in their fields.

2. Join a professional organization

The American Nurses Association provides a variety of resources and opportunities that can help nurses advance their careers. You can attend monthly meetings, participate in online groups and forums, volunteer your time, or even become a board of directors member.

Nursing is a competitive field, so networking with other nurses is crucial. Join an organization like the ANA, where you can meet other nurses from your area and learn from them about their professional journeys. Create relationships with new people in nursing you want to explore and ask them what they love about it.

It’s important to know what will motivate you before deciding on which profession suits you best. If interested, talk to someone who succeeded as a Nurse Manager at your local hospital. They might be able to offer some insights into whether this career path would be right for you.

3. Communication Skills

Nurses are often seen as caregivers, but there is much more than this. To become a great nurse and leader, you must communicate well. And communication skills can be learned and improved upon with practice.

Here are some tips on how to improve your communication skills:

  • Listen well and show empathy
  • Speak clearly and distinctly so that the other person understands what you are saying
  • Practice your speech with someone who will provide constructive feedback
  • Use gestures when speaking so that the other person knows what you mean
  • Pay attention to body language so that you know when the other person is receptive or not
  • Ask open-ended questions instead of yes/no questions; this will allow the conversation to flow more naturally

4. Mentor others

Mentoring others is a great way for nurses to become leaders. You can share your knowledge, experience, and skills with those who need them the most and help them grow as professionals. Mentoring not only benefits the mentee, but you will also benefit from the relationship by learning new information and developing new skills.

Mentoring has many benefits, including increased job satisfaction, self-esteem, and better relationships with coworkers and managers. And the opportunity to make connections at work may lead to promotions or other career opportunities and higher productivity.

The best part is that being a mentor can happen anywhere in any organization, so you don’t have to worry about finding a mentor position specifically. All you have to do is take the initiative!

5. Interpersonal skills

Interpersonal skills are a set of skills people use when communicating with others. These skills include listening, questioning, and active listening. Many nurses struggle with these skills, but they are essential if you want to become a leader in healthcare.

To develop excellent interpersonal skills, start by practicing active listening. It means actively paying attention and making eye contact when someone is speaking.

6. Time management

Do you want to be a nurse, or do you want to be a nurse leader? If the latter is true, you must ensure your priorities align with those goals. As nurses, we’re often overloaded with work that isn’t ours, to begin with. Your time should reflect that. Planning ahead will help conserve energy and make it easier for you to stay on top of things and reach your goals.

Delegating tasks will free up your time so that you can better focus on what’s important to YOU! Create realistic schedules and stick with them as much as possible. Spend less time on menial tasks like filing paperwork or checking labs.

When given an assignment, take the lead instead of trying to find someone else to do it for you.

7. Keep up with medical sector news

The medical industry is constantly changing. There is still a lot to learn about the new diseases and disorders that are emerging.  Reading, doing research, and going to workshops that give you deeper insights into the subject matter are the only ways to progress in your area.

Within the healthcare industry, ideas like artificial intelligence, big data, telehealth, and robotics are increasingly gaining popularity. It indicates that you must become knowledgeable about their design and operation.

Don’t let your gift go to waste; get serious about reading. A knowledgeable nurse leader is a great asset, especially in an emergency.

Conclusion

Nurses are frontline workers, tirelessly providing patient care and, in many cases, are the go-to’s for their patients. As such, nurses are responsible for taking leadership positions within their organizations to ensure that the best possible care is provided to all patients. This article will give you ideas for how nurses become leaders in their field.

More Tips: Volunteering is an integral part of being a leader. It also helps you gain invaluable experience that can be applied when you want to step into a more formalized position. As you gain experience and know-how, consider coaching other nurses or healthcare professionals on how they can take on more responsibilities and become leaders themselves.