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Leadership in Nursing.
Definitions, Theories, and Styles of Leadership
Developing future nurse leaders is one of the greatest challenges faced by the nursing profession (Mahoney, 2001). Powerful leadership skills are needed by all nurses—those providing direct care to those in top management positions. Anyone who is looked to as an authority (e.g., a nurse taking care of a patient) or who is responsible for giving assistance to others is considered a leader (Mahoney, 2001). A clinical nursing leader is one who is involved in direct patient care and who continuously improves care by influencing others (Cook, 2001). Leadership is not merely a series of skills or tasks; rather, it is an attitude that informs behavior (Cook, 2001). In addition, good leadership is consistent superior performance with long term benefit to all involved. Leaders are not merely those who control others, but they act as visionaries who help employees to plan, lead, control, and organize their activities (Jooste, 2004). You can get expert help with your essays right now. Find out more... Leadership has been defined many ways in the literature. However, several features are common to most definitions of leadership. For example, leadership is a process, involves influence, usually occurs in a group setting, involves the attainment of a goal, and leadership exists at all levels (Faugier & Woolnough, 2002). There are several recognized leadership styles. Autocratic leaders set an end goal without allowing others to participate in the decision-making process (Faugier & Woolnough, 2002). Bureaucratic leadership occurs when a leader rigidly adheres to rules, regulations, and policies. Participative leaders allow staff to participate in decision-making and actively seek out the participation of those involved. This type of leadership allows team members to feel more committed to the goals they were involved with formulating (Faugier & Woolnough, 2002). Laissez faire leadership...
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