Based on the results you obtained from the Foundation of Nursing Leadership self-assessment in Week 1 Lesson, reflect on the questions below and share in a post.
- What is your current leadership style?
- How does your leadership style impact your decision making in nursing care?
- How will you further develop your leadership skills?
- LessonEvery nurse needs to be a leader—even nurses providing direct care” (Finkelman, 2020, p. 3). What an awesome challenge for each of us regardless of our role!
As we begin our journey into Collaborative Healthcare, let’s consider some important questions to guide our journey. Nurses often hear the terms leader, manager, and leadership. What do these really mean? Who are leaders? Who are managers?
Managers are persons with specific skills employed in a position that focuses on leading people towards outcomes of an organization. In nursing today, most managers have a BSN or higher. Nurse managers must work to accomplish tasks as well as satisfy both their staff and the upper level managers. Finkelman (2019) defined a manager as “a person who holds a formal management or administrative position that focuses on four major functions: planning, organizing, leading, and controlling” (p. 529).
All nurses can be leaders , although they are not managers. Direct care nurses can support and empower colleagues by sharing knowledge, collaborating on unit challenges, and demonstrating excellence in communication with patients, colleagues, and managers. Finkelman (2019) defined a leader as “one who has the ability to influence others; a role that nurses assume, either formally by taking an administrative position or informally as others recognize that they have leadership characteristics” (p. 529). While many nurses may think of nurse leaders as the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) or Director of Nursing (DON) in their organization, we will focus much of our learning and discussion in NR447 on the role of the clinical nurse as a leader.
In textbooks and other sources, the terms leadership and management are sometimes considered together. This often refers to common traits for leaders and managers or might be only about managers and upper division managerial leaders. “Leadership refers to the ability to guide, motivate, and inspire and to instill vision and purpose” (Stegen & Sowerby, 2019, p. 383). As you read and discuss in this class, please think about how these terms are used.
Characteristics of Leaders and Managers
Styles of Leadership
There are many different styles of leadership and management. Let’s consider transformational, transactional, and servant leader styles.
According to Finkelman (2020), transformational leadership is desired by staff and is an effective leadership style. Staff nurses are drawn to transformational leaders by their passion for success. Transformational leaders empower their staff resulting in more productive nurses. Transformational leaders are more participatory and may work alongside the staff nurses when needed. They keep morale high by encouraging and appreciating the staff. Transformational leaders plan and participate in development of their staff. Transformational leaders want to see their staff succeed (Finkelman, 2020).
Transactional leaders are very concerned with maintaining day to day operations. They use incentives and disciplinary power when working with employees to get the job done. Transactional leaders are concerned with meeting deadlines and ensuring all systems run efficiently (Finkelman, 2020).
According to Ellis (2019), servant leadership looks towards the team as a group and as individuals while trying to meet their needs. This requires the leader to review the team and determine how they interact and perform. Servant leaders empathize with their teams and serve them to make the team more collaborative and productive.
Types of Leadership
We have discussed different leadership styles and reviewed some of these attributes. No one style is perfect, and you will see some managers and leaders that use a mix of several styles.