6 Qualities That Set Nurses on The Path to Leadership

6 Qualities That Set Nurses on The Path to Leadership : Leadership is the pinnacle of success in almost every profession out there. However, it is even more vital in the nursing profession. Notable nurse leaders combine insight, communication, inspiration, and empathy with effective organizational management to provide optimum care and other services.

After all, today, the world is in dire need of nurses occupying leadership positions. Furthermore, the ever-increasing demand for quality healthcare calls for more nursing leaders to stand up and take the helm.

According to the ANA (American Nurses Association), nurses who possess leadership qualities can excel in the healthcare sector by applying their unique principles and relevant skills. They focus on safety needs, ensure optimum care delivery, direct and lead teams of nurses, and drive positive patient outcomes. In addition, these healthcare professionals advocate for their patients, coworkers, and everyone involved in the caregiving process to ensure the work environment remains positive and professional.

Hence, developing leadership skills is vital for nurses looking to propel their careers to new heights. It often means focusing on skill sets that lend themselves to improving patient care and organizational management. So, without further ado, listed below are some qualities that set nurses on the leadership path.

Striving for the latest medical knowledge

You might think that after graduating with a bachelor’s degree, your education journey is over. However, that is not the case at all. The nursing profession requires candidates to remain competent and abreast of the latest nursing techniques, caregiving approaches, and medical knowledge. After all, learning new information will benefit your career advancement prospects, especially if you’re going for a  leadership role.

That said, the best way to improve your knowledge is to acquire further education. For instance, enrolling in an online MSN degree program will instill the latest knowledge, enhance your skills, and prepare you for higher positions. Securing leadership positions in today’s dynamic environment requires nurses to embrace diversity and be mindful of the changes occurring in all communities. Fortunately, such online programs help nurses in ensuring all of this.

Building effective communication skills

A nurse leader should have practical, top-of-the-line communication skills to maximize chances of reaching a leadership role. Moreover, it also allows one to collaborate with different healthcare professionals, stakeholders, and managers in various settings. It ensures precise and accurate conveyance of messages with everyone involved in the caregiving process.

Not two days in the healthcare sector are the same; unpredictable events and unforeseeable situations have become a norm. Thus, to tackle such uncertainty, healthcare workers must sharpen their communication skills. Moreover, you can also utilize the SBAR model to enhance your communication skills and improve patient safety in the process.

Top-notch decision-making skills

An essential quality of a nurse that positions them on the path to leadership is expert decision-making. Healthcare decisions based on empirical data and research are highly likely to achieve desired patient outcomes.

That said, a viable way to make accurate decisions is by using an ‘experts network.’ These include communities consisting of researchers, scientists, top thinkers, and managers. In the end, the decision-making process should be incorporated throughout the entire healthcare facility if you want to resolve problems effectively.

Knowledge of medical technology

To be an excellent leader and ensure efficient and effective healthcare services, you must complement them with the appropriate type of technology. For example, you need to have immense knowledge of clinical decision support (CDS), electronic health records (EHR), and Telehealth. After all, these technologies support daily interactions and processes and impact the usage and collection of healthcare data.

So, it is a no-brainer to train yourself to use them properly. Moreover, according to medical technicians, these technologies will be present in every healthcare facility by the end of 2021. As a result, arming yourself with such medical technologies will improve your standing as a nursing leader.

Insurance and Nursing funds

Nurses play a small but important role in the insurance industry. Nurses interested in these positions would do well to supplement their nursing degrees with education or experience in statistics, while their knowledge of health care can help fine-tune life insurance policies and processes.

Nurses in this industry tend to work as analysts, Tulenko says, helping design and analyze benefits packages. Some may also work with case managers on approvals for different processes, or in leadership positions. Finally, nurses may serve as front-line providers who perform insurance physicals, Tulenko says. The annual median salary for nurses in insurance is $80,090

Practical task delegation skills

As a nursing leader, you will have to monitor and work with people of various backgrounds. You’ll have to build trust with them to ensure you can delegate tasks effectively according to their skills and competencies. While some nurses might say that delegating tasks is risky and time-consuming, in reality, it is the key to becoming an excellent leader.

After all, according to the old saying, ‘your work as a leader is done if your department or unit can run without you’ adds more value to task delegation. On the other hand, nursing leaders who take on everything themselves can become overwhelmed and experience burnout, negatively affecting their team.

Ability to adapt to change

Being proactive and flexible while dealing with an ever-changing healthcare system is one of the most vital qualities of a nurse leader. Today’s dynamic healthcare system undergoes various transformations ranging from quality improvement, organizational restructuring to technological changes at all levels.

Such changes bring forth stress and feeling of pride simultaneously. As a result, nurses that seek leadership roles must learn to adapt to change.


Apart from these top picks, several other qualities can poise one on the path to leadership. Nurse leaders have to bring about positive changes while making effective decisions to improve patient care and organizational activities.

The qualities mentioned above are vital for nurses looking to expand their careers and become excellent leaders. So, if you’re a nurse thriving to leave an impact in the healthcare industry, becoming a nurse leader is the path for you.






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6 Qualities That Set Nurses on The Path to Leadership

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