We are at a point in time where the projected growth for nursing jobs is on the uptake as older generations are retiring from their current nursing positions. This is great for entry-level nurses who wish to advance in their nursing career because there are many opportunities for promotions. The nursing leader position is one of the most important jobs in a hospital as their role is a big factor in the overall hospital’s communication workflow and employee satisfaction.

When filling these open leader positions, hospitals find that many young nurses are ill-prepared due to the lack of specific qualities necessary of a nurse leader. Without a proper mentor to teach them critical interpersonal skills, this can greatly affect their performance as a leader, which in turn will affect the nurse team under their charge. To help you understand the attributes you will need we compiled a list of qualities that make for a good nurse leader.

Be Passionate and Personable

Everyone has heard that as a leader, you must lead by example, and they are most certainly correct. Consider the characteristics you want people to attribute with your name. If you constantly complain about work and patients, what message does that send to your nursing staff? Maintaining a positive image among your team is important because it shows that you are committed and passionate about nursing. This kind of behavior will inspire your team to do the same.

Availability On and Off Duty

A healthy supervisor-subordinate relationship consists of open communication and mutual respect for one another. As the nurse leader, creating an environment where each member feels safe to express their concerns, mistakes, or suggestions is crucial for employee satisfaction. Set aside some time where your staff can approach you to talk about what’s been on their minds. Being available to listen and validate your staff’s feelings tells them that you are someone they can trust.

Well-Versed in Organizational Flow

Nothing is more frustrating than having a problem arise and not knowing who to report it to. Incorporate a quick lesson on the hospital’s chain of commands during staff meetings to ensure that everyone is aware of the necessary steps to follow in times of crisis. When staff understand the organizational flow, this will open more time to find solutions, instead of finding the right person to contact. Additional benefits for the staff would be knowing who to find when discussing vacation days, requesting time off, or notifying about personal emergencies that need to be tended to immediately.

Frequently Express Appreciation

Acknowledging your staff’s efforts to keep the hospital running is one of the best things you can do. Though it may seem like everyone is doing the same routine day after day, it actually takes a lot of work to keep things running smoothly. Verbally expressing your gratitude towards your hard-working nursing staff lets them know that their endeavors are appreciated. By practicing gratitude, this will greatly uplift the nursing team and empower them to perform even better.

Our nurse leaders at Eisenhower Health are proactive about maintaining these characteristics to ensure a positive experience for our staff;  join our team by visiting our Careers page for current job openings.

Originally posted on 30/1/2020

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