Most people outside the health care industry believe that doctors are the leaders of medical staff, that doctors run health care facilities thanks to their extensive schooling and respected status. However, those devoted to working in hospitals, clinics, and other medical centers know that doctors do precious little to keep the industry running. Instead, the system needs leaders ― particularly nurse leaders ― to stay organized and efficient.
However, nurse leaders are becoming few and far between. The current nursing shortage is leaving plenty of vacancies in nursing staffs around the country, especially in leadership positions necessary to the proper function of health care facilities. Nurse leaders have prestige, power, and excellent pay, making them enviable workers within the health care industry. Plus, it isn’t difficult to become a nurse leader; nurses need only consider the following seven principles of successful leadership.
Evaluate What’s Important
At hospitals and other care centers, nurse leaders have the tools to create almost any metric, measuring every action, behavior, or emotion of patients or staff. However, more data isn’t necessarily better; instead, the best nurse leaders know to measure and analyze only the important things, which include:
- · Satisfaction
- · Quality standards
- · Productivity
- · Finances
Invest in Potential
Nurse leaders must recognize the potential in their subordinate nurses and nurture those leadership qualities to ensure a consistently healthy leadership within a single organization. This begins with rewarding innovation, creativity, and success to retain nursing staff and ends with encouraging future leaders to seek additional credentials to reach leadership positions. Nurse leaders might help their promising subordinates find online colleges for nursing degrees, make connections with administrative leaders, and practice other nurse leadership responsibilities to test their suitability in positions of authority.
Establish Shared Values and Goals
Nurse leaders should ensure their employees are well-versed in their organization’s goals, missions, and values. Communicating this information is key to establishing its importance amongst staff. Perhaps more importantly, nurse leaders should demonstrate how to uphold the organization’s standards and serve as role models for the rest of the health care team.
Nurse leaders cannot be everywhere at once, which means employees must be responsible for their actions and accountable for their parts in accomplishing goals ― whether that’s the organization’s objectives or individual aspirations. Nurse leaders can assist workers in the development of accountability by instituting one-on-one meetings every few months to discuss progress toward success.
Accept Only Excellence
For most leaders, demanding the best from their staff isn’t difficult; rather, it is committing to excellence themselves that is challenging. Nurse leaders act as clinicians, administrators, patient and employee advocates, and more, and when juggling these many roles, some nurse leaders allow themselves to slip in one or more. Relying on trustworthy staff members, setting priorities, and accepting nothing less than excellence is the best way to achieve personal and professional success.
It is impossible for any organization to function without fast and easy communication, and health care facilities are no different. Because successful patient outcomes often rely on interdisciplinary teams, nurse leaders must establish communication systems to allow support services, physician staff, senior leadership, and nursing staff to share information necessary for appropriate care. Inviting various staff to events including daily rounds or monthly meetings, might foster trust and encourage communication.
Make Employees Happy
As mentioned before, happy employees are indicative of happy, healthy patients, and fortunately, it isn’t difficult to improve morale and bolster staff spirits. Nurse leaders should develop personal relationships with every employee ― knowing their important dates, their family’s names, and any other essential information. Celebrating or mourning alongside staff is helpful in building a camaraderie that employees cherish. Finally, nurse leaders must maintain open and honest communication, as informed workers are happy workers.