Aspects of Leadership in Nursing


Leadership is a key factor in all management life, as it is a vital link to success in any field. Leadership gurus have defined leadership in different aspects and terms depending on their experience, understanding, and their profession. Successful CEOs have been able to manage large institutions because of their endeavored efforts to provide essential leadership to the subjects. There are organizations in the world, which have started and never celebrated their first birthday. Research has shown that the reason behind this disappointment is the inconsistency in the management of such companies.

On the other hand, this is also contributed by the leadership style employed. They use leadership styles that do not match today’s world. These styles are more into dictatorship than into focus for the achievement of the missions and long-term objectives of the health institution. This means that there is no employee satisfaction leading to poor performance and low productivity in firms. In such scenarios, there is always malicious obedience by the employees. There is a violation of the codes and ethical standards of a given company. Once this happens, it jeopardizes the drive to work toward attaining the objectives of the company.


Leadership gurus have defined the term leadership in different ways. Lane, G & Patricia, D. (2008) say that leadership has something to do with influencing the subjects and other leaders to achieve some set objectives. Rost, C. (1991) indicates that the definition of leadership can well be placed in the discipline that one wants to concentrate on. He further says that the disciplines such as politics, education, and social institutions are well managed by visions, missions, and objectives, but the central idea is the power to influence people to follow the planned strategy into the desired success. Many other eminent writers have said that leadership is the transfer of one’s vision, missions, and objectives into reality. Others argue that leadership is talking about the visions, missions, and objectives of the company to the subject with such an intensity that the subjects begin to see them in themselves. In my view, these definitions are all true according to one’s perception and the rationale he/she has for the term leadership. This paper focuses on leadership in nursing.

Key Characteristic of Effective Nursing Leadership and Their Importance of these Characteristics in a Nursing Context

Whichever discipline, leadership is accompanied by some characteristics that are particularly vital for success in each area of life. These characteristics include vision, integrity, motivation, emotional stability, being flexibility. Wart, V. (2012) has argued in his book that leadership has so long been in existence. He further says that leadership ranges from rural to urban. This means that, in nursing, it is applicable in all regions. In nursing, there are additional attributes to principled leadership. They include sympathy, empathy, and discipline. Discipline stands out as an integral part of success in every domain. Motivation is extremely significant as said by Swansburg, C. (1996), in that it helps to instill the drive to achieve something. Intrinsic motivation is considered indispensable in nursing as opposed to extrinsic motivation. One has to dedicate him/herself to performing the duties. The discipline comes in as the only point that counterchecks the success.

Discipline entails the issue of opportunity cost. This is all about giving up something for another to sustain a personal goal or the general public. Wilson, K. (1992) asserts that these characteristics are valid in nursing, in that transformational leadership is essential. Vision stands out as a critical point because if the nurses have no point to achieve, then they are doing nothing. They have to have the mindset to change and save a life. Empathy and sympathy in nursing keep the foundation of the profession. This profession is considered a call from God. Daly, J. et al (2004) emphasized the importance of these characteristics to nursing. They say in their book that skilled nursing leadership brings about the concepts into reality. The policies are more likely to have an impact than where poor leadership exists.

It is vital to note that, in nursing all leadership styles are applicable. This is because the profession is dynamic and hence calls for different approaches to leadership. The only essential ideal as far as nursing is concerned is situational leadership ( Daniels & Daniels, 2004). This is where the leader has in mind that the process is not taken to be void ( Daniels & Daniels, 2004). The process is practical. This is driven by discipline and perseverance. There is always the will to serve, to listen without many objections from the subjects. Nurses will be productive in situations of high appreciation and are likely to be intimidated in areas of dictatorship. If the leader does not appreciate them, the nurses will feel oppressed by their profession. They will not be satisfied, and above all, they are likely to suffer from health-related distress. When this happens, the self-drive to save life disappears entirely (Stanley, 2011).

Flexibility is an admirable quality of character of leadership as asserted by Sullivan, E.J. & Decker, P.(2009). From the nursing perspective, the nurses must be flexible enough to absorb the daily routine. There is always a need in the nursing department, to work during off-duty hours. The leader managing the hospital should have the convincing to have nurses working beyond their normal time (Huber, 2010). This should be done with no hard feelings on the side of nurses and the leader.

In the management of nurses, there must be knowledgeability of the highest order. This helps in adhering to the ethics of the profession and increasing performance. The nurse leading the whole group of nurses should be open-minded as well in that he/she should be able to see beyond the horizons. He should be proactive in his/her judgment (Marquis & Houston, 2009). The sense of concern for the subject should be a key point. No one likes to be harassed. However much the nurse is ready to save a life, he/she will not deliver as expected if the management does not appreciate the services.

Good management should be strategic and analytical. In this sense, the leader and the subject will be able to know the responsibilities to be carried out in the profession. Daly, J., Speedy, S. & Jackson, D. (2009) argue that in the context of hospital management every aspect of the job that requires attention needs to be in a transparent manner. This does not create enmity in the job environment and people will be ready to serve. The nurses will be motivated to air their grievances. This assists in the process of determining the level of satisfaction among the nurses. Whitehead, D; Weiss, S., & Tappen, R.(2010) in their book assert that leadership in the nursing context stands out as the back born of the best management style. There must be the will to serve and the will to be led. There must be no pride since it will only help to build repression rather than the will to serve. It is unnecessary to have a fight in the work area instead of a working culture that embraces togetherness.

Catalo, J. (2006).indicates that, if issues are not resolved to satisfaction, they are more likely to cause problems that may cost the institutions billions of money. Life may also be threatened, given that nurses are on strike because of issues that were previously not resolved. The whole discussion will be of no significance if the management will not consider the remuneration of the nurses. It is common knowledge that these people have the passion to sacrifice their time and skills in the quest of saving a life. Therefore, they need to be properly remunerated to motivate them. This is the best external motivation as far as the profession is concerned. Buckis, C. (2006) says that nurses should be well treated financially. He further says that they should be given considerable bonuses as a way of motivating them.

To crown it all, the best leadership is embodied in communication skills. The best leader should have an effective means of communication with the subjects. Moss, T. (2002) sheds some light on this issue. He says that proper communication enhances the stability of emotions. This helps to build stability in leadership. To enhance creativity, the nurses should be allowed to contribute intellectually. They should be given the chance to develop their intellectual curiosity by asking questions. Moreover, they need to develop their social cognitive (Clerk, 2009). The clerk further says that this helps the nurse leader to develop their language intuition. This enables the nurse leader to act in an assertive manner that is essential in his/her career development.


In conclusion, nursing leadership is as valuable as the profession itself is to our society. The best leadership style in this profession is developed by the situation and the way the nurses are nurtured in their profession. Nurses are supposed to adhere to the ethical standards of the nursing profession. This calls for total submission to the whole aspect of the nursing profession. The leader under the nursing group must have a vision and missions in place to effectively lead. These two will help him to focus on the set objectives and goals in the timeline set effectively and efficiently. It is also essential that a nurse leader have analytical skills as a leader this makes sure that the leader does not waste time managing the other nurses. Time management is another aspect of quality leadership in nursing bearing in mind time is critical in this field as it deals with saving the lives of patients. Time wasting can be extremely disastrous to the profession and life may be lost. Good leadership must be all around the clock and again, it should not be discriminating. This will go a long way in saving lives and make the roles of the nursing profession effective and efficient.


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