When a service is provided that requires prompt decision-making skills, attention to detail, and effective communication skills, the position is one of a natural leader. Natural leaders stand out because they are more of doers and less of complainers. When a natural leader observes a potential problem, he/she acts on it immediately in an effort to rectify the issue. This is why nurses are natural leaders. It is expected in the job and it is done in the role almost without awareness. There is no need to take on a formal leadership position in order to be a leader in the health care profession as a nurse. A few strategies that enable a nurse to exert leadership without being in a formal leadership position include taking a leadership stance, being influential, and being persuasive.
A nurse that shows the ability to take a leadership stance is one that responds to a situation that seems to be a problem and provides an alternative thought process regarding the problem. For example, when a nurse witnesses staff members discussing reluctance to adhere to a new policy change and she joins in the conversation to better understand what the root of the problem is she is taking a leadership stance. She actively listens to gather all necessary information and then redirects the conversation to the important reasons as to why the policy was changed. The nurse is taking a leadership stance because she is not adding to the complaints, but instead she’s providing a different prospective for the other employees to consider and that is thinking about the benefits of the change.
After the initial conversation with the staff members, the nurse leader will do what needs to be done in order to be influential and help the staff members understand and appreciate the attempt to make things better for the patients as well as ultimately for themselves. The nurse can create this influence by providing examples of how the policy change will improve things for...
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