The nurse manager of the cardiac rehabilitation unit has been a formal nurse leader for the past five years. The conversation began with a discussion about her personal leadership style and how it evolved from a knee jerk style to her current democratic style. Being a nurse leader requires adaptation and flexibility. Administration, Medicare, and certifying organizations require changes to be made frequently to improve patient care. These changes are often tied to service reimbursement, so they must be initiated swiftly. Many difficulties surround the role of leader in today’s health care. Being unprepared for a management role, avoiding micromanagement, and maintaining clinical competency were the biggest challenges identified during the transition and continuing role as nurse leader. Open communication was the key to overcoming the personal and professional challenges of being a leader. Formal and informal power influences the success of the organization and the role of a nurse manager. The nurse manager identified administration as a formal leader. Patients and her staff were recognized as informal leaders. Maintaining an open relationship with both formal and informal leaders is essential to achieving the organizations mission.
As a successful nurse leader the nurse manager of the cardiac rehabilitation unit describes her style of leadership as democratic. According to Marriner Tomey (2009) “Democratic leaders maintain less control; ask questions and make suggestions rather than issue orders; and get the group involved in planning, problem solving, and decision making (p. 182). Staff must attend 75% of all staff meetings according to the union contract, these meetings are offered every month. During these meeting and during day-to-day activities she encourages the staff to verbalize their ideas and is open to implementing these ideas in hopes of improving everyone’s work environment and patient satisfaction. The
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