Is a leader born or made? This question has been asked many times in many situations throughout history. It has been applied to many professions, including nursing. What makes a great nurse manager, head nurse, nursing supervisor, or director of nursing?
Be a leader today
Some people display leadership qualities long before they ever hold a leadership position. When a nurse seeks to advance in a nursing career, it can be very advantageous to act like a leader. It may seem like an uphill climb to advance in this way, but a nurse can begin leading from wherever [he or she is] in the organization.
How does that work? It’s important to be alert for opportunities. For example, if the hospital is creating a committee to address an important issue, a would-be leader can volunteer to serve on it, even if it does mean coming in on [a] day off to participate. This shows that a nurse is willing to give back some … personal time to be involved in activities. Along the same lines, when the hospital or organization is participating in a community event, it can be a sign of leadership to participate or even help lead the charge.
Build a solid foundation
Education is important in nursing, just as it is in other fields. The nurse who holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree … has the advantage of having an educational foundation for a career in leadership. In addition to providing a nurse with valuable knowledge, these degrees provide nurses with a degree of confidence. That confidence can make a nurse more comfortable with the idea of career advancement and assuming a leadership position.
In addition to a good education, a nurse must also possess the ‘soft skills’ necessary for successful leadership. Soft skills can be tough to define, but they are the interpersonal skills and other qualities that enable people to get along. An individual who has soft skills is more likely to succeed as a leader than an individual who doesn’t have them.
Develop leadership skills
Leaders can teach other people how to be leaders. A nurse who is interested in career advancement or a leadership position should seek a mentor. Mentoring programs can provide the experiences of seasoned nurses to bolster and support the … nurse through the transition of becoming a leader.
Would-be leaders shouldn’t stop there, though. Some employers offer formal professional development programs to help foster leadership skills. If a nurse does not have access to such programs, or if a nurse wants to access even more opportunities like this, a professional development organization can also be helpful in this regard.
Becoming a leader
At 365 Healthcare Staffing Services, we specialize in the recruitment and placement of healthcare professional in per diem, travel, and permanent assignments in healthcare facilities across the country. Your next assignment may be the one that helps you capitalize on your leadership potential, and we’d like to be part of that. Give us a call at 310.436.3650 so we can get started.