Leadership in Nursing Education

Introduction

It goes without saying that leadership is regarded as an absolutely necessary skill in nursing practice as it enables professionals to influence the medical staff and provide high-quality health care focused on the patients’ needs. However, in-hospital environments, the practice of leadership is negatively affected by working overload, a lack of specialists’ autonomy, and the inability of managers to develop professionals on a constant basis. Regardless of the fact that leadership should be stimulated when a specialist enters the job market and start his or her career, the significance of the educators’ participation in the development and strengthening of leadership skills during graduation is undeniable (Amestoy et al., 2017). At the same time, the expression of leadership by nurse educators forms their students’ strategies and approaches that may substantively impact young specialists’ nursing practice in the future.

Nurse Educators’ Leadership

Expression of Leadership

As previously mentioned, leadership is an indispensable element of nursing practice for any competent health care provider. The education of future leaders in nursing is the current leaders’ vital obligation (Dyess et al., 2016). Moreover, a prevalent number of registered nurses define leadership as essential professional competence and mention “positive aspects related to the leadership formation in graduation, which was obtained from significant theoretical contribution, provided by nursing professors” (Amestoy et al., 2017, p. 1). The development of leadership skills during the process of teaching and learning substantially contributes to the obtainment of specific characteristics beneficial for the future career. In other words, nurse educators stimulate their students to be reflective, critical thinking, supportive of subordinates, patients, and their families, responsible, and capable of conflict management and time-sensitive decision-making. At the same time, it is essential for nurse educators to demonstrate leadership and there are three common ways of its expression:

  • Role modeling. When a nurse educator is a role model for students, he or she forms their attitude to health care delivery, patients, and colleagues. For instance, when future specialists see that their time, opinions, and demands are considered and their questions are answered, they frequently become constantly learning, tactful, responsible, and accurate leaders as well.
  • Inspirational motivation. Nurse educators should motivate students and develop their commitment to nursing, health care delivery, and patient assistance. In this case, young people, as leaders, will encourage and motivate their colleagues and subordinates in order to achieve common goals. (Vaismoradi et al., 2016).
  • Intellectual stimulation. Nurse educators may contribute to the development of their students’ leadership competencies through the stimulation of their learning and research skills. In addition, they should encourage young people to value changes and development in the health care system and support their critical thinking.

Theory’s Application

As a matter of fact, there are multiple leadership theories, however, from a personal perspective, the transformational theory may be defined as one of the most appropriate for the nursing practice. In general, it focuses on “the connections formed between leaders and followers” (Amanchukwu et al., 2015, p. 8). To be precise, leadership is traditionally regarded as the process of the person’s engagement with others and the formation of interaction that leads to increased mortality and motivation in both leaders and followers (Amanchukwu et al., 2015). Transformational leadership for nursing education is highly beneficial as it is characterized by the exceptional role of nurse mentors and educators in the development of student’s skills and abilities (Vaismoradi et al., 2016). Moreover, nurse educators who practice transformational leadership are able to create a supportive culture, enhance students’ motivation, creativity, and ethical behavior, explain the significance of the patient’s safety, prepare graduates for nursing practice, and help to avoid serious errors in the future.

Interprofessional Collaboration and Communication in Nurse Education

In the present day, when the health care system faces multiple challenges, collaborative practice is indispensable as it improves the quality of health care delivery through all team members’ concerted effort. According to the report of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), interprofessional collaboration and communication among health care providers are identified as “an essential part of improving the accessibility, quality, and value of health care in the United States” (Sullivan et al., 2015, p. 47). At the same time, the World Health Organization emphasized the significance of interpersonal collaboration in the education of health care providers for high-quality health care delivery in the future (Sullivan et al., 2015). Its main objective is the collaborative practice of students from various health professions to the fullest extent in order to learn how to build have effective interprofessional relationships through sharing of knowledge and skills (Sullivan et al., 2015). In addition, interprofessional collaboration and communication positively influence students’ responsibility, accountability, assertiveness, autonomy, coordination, respect, and mutual trust.

Conclusion

Leadership in nursing education may be defined as its essential part. Through the expression of leadership, nurse educators form students’ strategies and approaches that may substantively impact their nursing practice in the future. Nursing mentors and educators may display leadership in three general ways – role-modeling, inspirational motivation, and intellectual stimulation. In addition, nurse educators who practice transformational leadership may be regarded as the most appropriate theory in this area to contribute to the development of student’s skills and abilities, create a supportive culture, enhance future specialists’ motivation, creativity, and ethical behavior, prepare graduates for nursing practice, and help to avoid serious errors in the future. Interprofessional collaboration is also highly significant in nursing education as it aims to learn students from various health professions to receive essential knowledge and skills through communication with each other.

References

Amanchukwu, R. N., Stanley, G. J., Ololube, N. P. (2015). A review of leadership theories, principles and styles and their relevance to educational management. Management, 5(1), 6-14. Web.

Amestoy, S. C., Trindade, L. L., Reis da Silva, G. T., Santos, B. P., Santos Souza Reis, V. R., & Ferreira, V. B. (2017). Leadership in nursing: From teaching to practice in a hospital environment. Escola Anna Nery, 21(4), 1-7. Web.

Dyess. S. M., Sherman, R. O., Pratt, B. A., & Chiang-Hanisko, L. (2016). Growing nurse leaders: Their perspectives on nursing leadership and today’s practice environment. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 21(1). Web.

Sullivan, M., D. Kiovsky, R., J. Mason, D., D. Hill, C., & Dukes, C. (2015). Interprofessional collaboration and education. The American Journal of Nursing, 115(3), 47-54. Web.

Vaismoradi, M., Griffiths, P., Turunen, H., & Jordan, S. (2016). Transformational leadership in nursing and medication safety education: A discussion paper. Journal of Nursing Management, 24(7), 970-980. Web.