Nursing: In general, is the process of caring for, or nurturing another individual.
Leader: Somebody whom people follow, somebody in charge of others, somebody who guide and direct others.
Leadership: The capacity of someone to lead, the ability to guide, direct and influence others.
Positive: Certain and not in doubt, producing a good result because of having an innately beneficial character.
Effect: Is the power to influence: success in bringing about change in somebody or something.
Practice: Repeat something to get better: to do something repeatedly in order to improve performance.
Positive & strong leadership is very essential in any profession, but in nursing arena it’s crucial to the well-being and recovery of patients. Nurse leaders ensure that every member of the team provides optimal level of care, while also encouraging Nurses to work in harmony and put patient needs ahead of personal needs and issues. They also mentor fellow nurses, providing the advice and guidance they need to fulfil their responsibilities with confidence and satisfaction.
Leadership is a method of modelling accountable behaviour to others. Nursing has numerous leaders who demonstrate and encourage accountability. Leadership and management are terms often used interchangeably; however, some significant differences exist. Management is the accomplishment of tasks either by oneself or by directing others. Leadership is the interpersonal process that involves motivating and guiding others to achieve goals. “Management is about power, and leadership is about Influence-control versus vision. Every nurse, regardless of title or position, is a manager; each has the potential to be a leader.
Effective leaders accomplish goals by using (in a positive sense) other people. In other words, they use the concept off synergy (the combined power of many) rather thank attempting to achieve success alone.
The leader’s behaviour greatly determines the behaviour off the group. There are basically three styles of leadership:
The autocratic leadership style is leader-focused; that is, the leader maintains strong control, makes all decisions, and solves all problems. The leader dominates the group by issuing commands rather than making suggestions or seeking input.
Potential impact on the group members:
3.Facilitates a quick response.
4.Often necessary in crisis situation
1. Promotes mistrust and fear among followers.
2.Members may become hostile or passive
3. Inhibits creativity and autonomy of members
The democratic leadership style (also called participative leadership) is based on the belief that every group member should have input into development of goals and problem solving. The democratic leader acts primarily as a facilitator and resource person. Concern for each member of the group as a unique individual is demonstrated by the leader.
Potential impact on the group members:
2.More opportunity for personal growth
3.Increase cooperation and team work
1.Promotes empowerment of team members
3.Increased creativity and autonomy
2.May be less efficient (in quantifiable terms)
3.Disagreements may happen as members express their viewpoints
In the laissez-faire leadership style, the leader assumes a passive, non-directive, and inactive approach. Leadership responsibilities are either assumed by the members ofOf the group or completely abdicated. All decision making is left to the group with the leader giving little, if any, guidance, support, or feedback. Almost any behaviour by the group is permissible due to the leader’s lack of limit-setting and stated expectations.
Potential impact on group members
1.The tasks are unmet
2.The relationship needs of group members are ignored
1.Promotes autonomy and creativity in members
1.May evoke passivity in team members
2.Aimless behaviour often occurs. Chaos is common, Inefficiency and low productivity
No single style of leadership is superior to the other. Each leadership approach has its advantages and disadvantages. The effective leader will use situational leadership, which is a blending of styles based on current circumstances and events. The leader knows that behaviour does not occur in a vacuum; thus, leadership styles are assumed
according to the needs of the group and tasks to be achieved.
EFFECTIVE CHARACTERISTICS & QUALITIES OF POSITIVE NURSE LEADER
For better understanding, these characteristics and Qualities are grouped into 3:
. Task related
. Team related
. Personal qualities and other qualities
1.A leader should be trained and proficient in his job.
2.Takes initiative and sets clear objectives
3.Capable of making good and timely decision.
4.Persistent in his work.
5.Should not depend on conventional methods but be able for creative changes.
1.A leader should treat the subordinates as human and share their feeling of joy and sorrow.
2.Should be able to protect the interest of his followers.
3.Should be flexible in dealing with subordinate when necessary.
4.Should be motivated and able to motivate others.
5.Should be able to coordinate, delegate and integrate the workers.
6.Should be impartial
7.Should encourage self-criticism so that one can learn from mistakes.
8.Should also keep his word.
9.Should be social and develop personal contacts.
PERSONAL QUALITIES AND OTHER QUALITES
. Communication: Effective leadership relies on the individual’s ability to communicate. An effective nurse leader will:
Listen actively to others
Articulate thoughts in an intelligent, persuasive manner
Differentiate aggressive, passive, and assertive behaviour
. Credibility: A leader motivates others by demonstrating enthusiasm and exerting influence. To be influential, the leader must be credible. Credibility, is the quality or power of inspiring beliefs, is based on competence. From competence comes confidence. Individuals who know what they are doing and perform well are those who can influence others.
. Delegation: The nurse leader must be able to delegate effectively to coordinate the delivery of care. Delegation is the process of transferring a selected task in a situation to an individual who is competent to perform that specific task
. Critical Thinking: Another characteristic of an effective leader is the ability to think critically. According to Alfaro-Le Fevre (1998), “Critical thinking is the key to resolving problems. Nurses who don’t think critically become part of the problem”.
. Initiating Action: In addition to thinking critically, a leader initiates action. Only by putting ideas into action does a person become a leader. A leader does not adopt a “wait-and watch” attitude with problems. Instead, a leader initiates measures to solve problems.
. Risk Taking: Taking action to solve problems (i.e., to initiate change) involves taking a risk. People who take risks are those who are not satisfied with the status quo and strive continually for improvement.
. Persuasiveness & influence: Persuasiveness is a tool that managers can use to create enthusiasm for a project, encourage collaboration, and increase cohesiveness among team members. The persuasive leader is one who communicates effectively and demonstrates personal power.
. Loyalty: A leader has to be loyal to the team and profession.
Other qualities of positive Nurse leader includes: diplomacy, motivation, dependability, adaptability, flexibility, wisdom, respect, dedication, hardworking e.t.c
PRINCIPLE OF SUCCESSFUL NURSING LEADERSHIP
. Commit to excellence: As a leader you must be committed to your passion and purpose, and have the type of commitment that turns into perseverance.
. Measure the important things: Develop realistic action plans to build members satisfaction, involve all staff levels, and reassess timely.
Build a culture around . Service: Teach your staff to appreciate patients and families as their clients. As a leader it is imperative to be humble, open, and available to learn every day. Remember, if you lead, they will follow.
. Create and develop leaders: An old adage is, “If your unit or department can run without you, you have done your job.” This is true, so develop your succession plan early. You can’t do it all alone.
. Focus on your team members satisfaction: Make your work environment a great place to work. Celebrate what each individual member can bring to the team.
. Build individual accountability: It’s imperative to hold all members accountable for the part they play in the overall goal. Align behaviours with goals and values: Set behavioural standards for all members that are aligned with the organization’s values, mission, and standards. Refer to standards when you’re developing or counselling staff.
. Communicate on all levels: To serve our patient population as an interdisciplinary team, we need to communicate as an interdisciplinary team. Incorporate support services, physician staff, and senior leadership into daily Rounding on all units.
. Recognize and reward success: Too often we save recognition until Nurses Week, which may be too late to retain staff. Offering words of praise and encouragement and taking the time to meet with your staff 1:1 say you appreciate their services, this enhance innovation and creativity.
POSITIVE EFFECTS OF LEADERSHIP ON NURSING PRACTICE
Positive and strong leaders keep the nursing team running smoothly. Some of the positive effects of leadership on nursing practice are:
. Positive Values Trickle Down: When you take the time to hone positive leadership skills, such as decisiveness, integrity, and honesty, these values can have a trickle-down effect on your subordinates and encourage them to work harder for you. In other words, when you behave in a positive manner as a leader, your attitude may have a contagious effect on those who work for you.
. Improved Morale: Causes of low morale among subordinates, in many cases, it can sometimes be traced back to poor leadership. When a team has an indecisive or dictatorial leader at the helm, it can arouse feelings of apathy or resentment in the employees.
. Increased Trust: When you lead your subordinates in a way that fosters feelings of trust, this can improve leader-subordinates relations and build a stronger team foundation.
. Better Communication: When team leaders have a closed-door policy and do not make an effort to communicate with their subordinates, this may leave their members feeling uninformed, uneasy, and tense.
. Objectives Become Clearer for All: Making your team objectives well and clear on your members can make more stable work environment. Shared objectives are more likely to inspire feelings of camaraderie, while being secretive about your objectives and goals may only serve to increase gossip and rumours.
. Improved Patient Care: Patient care is a team effort, relying on the collaboration of doctors, nurses physical therapists and other specialists. It is therefore crucial that nurse leaders unify these teams and ensure everyone is on the same page regarding the patient’s care. Positive nurse leaders enhance the quality of care provided to patients.
. Conflict Management: Even in the strongest of teams, it’s inevitable that communication breakdowns and conflict will arise. However, strong leadership from senior nurses can prevent these conflicts from threatening patient well-being or permanently hindering the team’s ability to work together. Effective nurse leaders spot these conflicts early, before they have a chance to cause irreparable damage. They also take prompt, decisive steps to resolve the issue.
. Motivation: Nursing can be a hectic, high-stress career that leads to exhaustion and burnout. Positive nurse leaders help their members stay on track and remind them of their commitment to their patients’ recoveries.
. Positive Role Model: Positive nurse leaders inspire their fellow nurses to meet and even exceed their highest expectations. By honouring their profession’s ethical principles, always putting the patient’s needs first, and treating their colleagues with respect, they establish a standard of conduct for other nurses to follow.
. Direction: Positive leadership can help guide the direction of a group. With different people working together in different capacities, it`s easy for a group to fall out of touch and not realize how
Conclusively, for nursing profession to prosper there is need for positive, strong and effective leadership. Most importantly everyone can be such a leader because “Leaders are made not born”. With only such type of leaders that will impact positive ideas on younger generation of Nurses a crystal clear change in the profession will come into existence.
I thank you all for listening and your time
By Faruk Aliyu RN from school of Nursing Katsina
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