Qualities that determine nurses as leaders

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Every medical facility or self-employed care provider requires excellent nurses to assist with the caregiving process. They are the driving force behind every healthcare team, and they work night and day to ensure better patient outcomes. 

That said, the nursing field is going through a swift change with veteran nurses hanging up their boots and greener, fresher talent coming through the gates. However, even though the availability of nursing talent is on the low side, training and onboarding nursing leaders have been the main focus of healthcare facilities everywhere.

That said, existing nurse leaders need to groom their nursing team to fill the void left by retiring nurses. After all, as more and more nurses retire, inexperienced individuals will step in. This scenario makes it crucial for nurses to take on a leadership role

As a result, most nursing organizations and healthcare facilities have formed alliances to work on newcomers and help them become better nurse leaders. With that in mind, let us look at some qualities listed below that a nurse leader must possess. 

Excellent medical and nursing knowledge

Aspiring nursing candidates might think that after they graduate from nursing school, learning is over. However, it is far from the truth. The nursing field requires individuals to remain up-to-date with the latest nursing and medical techniques to ensure they can provide the best patient care possible. After all, the nursing profession requires life-long learning and will benefit everyone involved in the caregiving process.

That said, one way to enhance your nursing knowledge is by acquiring further education. For example, enrolling in an online DNP degree program will ensure you remain familiar with the latest nursing techniques while improving your knowledge about healthcare as a whole. 

After all, you cannot be an excellent nursing leader if you don’t have the nursing know-how and education to back it up.

Critical thinking skills

Nurses leaders must utilize their critical thinking skills to make decisions based on scientific and medical proof and not on emotions alone. This skill is crucial in the healthcare field due to the increasing interdepartmental collaboration. 

Therefore, nursing leaders must constantly remain in touch with other departments and be open to suggestions and ideas before taking steps that might affect patient care and the medical facility’s organizational operations.


The nursing profession requires candidates to be confident and competent leaders. After all, these healthcare professionals represent the nursing profession professionally within the healthcare facility and outside it. 

So, maintaining professionalism is a no-brainer for these individuals to ensure that the nursing profession gets the credit it deserves.


A nurse leader must deploy motivational strategies that allow the trainees or newcomers to build upon their personalities. By guiding, empowering, and helping them understand their roles as caregivers, nurse leaders will promote a work environment that cultivates continual learning.

Moreover, excellent nurse leaders should make every effort to find learning opportunities to give rookie nurses the autonomy they need to avoid feeling micromanaged.

Effective communication skills

The healthcare field consists of a multidisciplinary work environment that requires effective interdepartmental collaboration and communication to improve patient outcomes tenfold. To achieve this level of communication and cooperation, nurse leaders must continuously stay in touch with other healthcare professionals while doing rounds. 

These professionals can range from support staff to senior executives to primary care providers to everyone in between.


In contrast, this might not be a bad thing. As nurses care for thousands of patients during their tenure, they might become desensitized and start treating their profession as a job instead of a passion. That said, nurse leaders must show empathy towards every patient, ensuring they put themselves in their shoes to understand what they are going through.

After all, empathy prevents you from treating your patients as a part of your job. Instead, you will focus more on patient-centered care and prevent yourself from becoming an astringent nurse leader who follows guidelines no matter what.

Dedication to perfection

An excellent nurse leader will always strive for perfection. To achieve a high level of productivity, you will have to identify priorities for improvement, set measurable goals, and guide your team to achieve them.

After all, a leader won’t be a leader if they cannot identify areas of ineffectiveness in their healthcare facility. Once you find such ineffective areas, you can implement policies that improve the healthcare facility’s operations, drastically improving patient care.

A global mindset or perspective

Embracing and understanding cultural diversity is vital to playing your part in society. The same is the case for the nursing field. A global mindset or perspective allows nurse leaders to adapt and respond to worldwide healthcare and nursing trends on a local, regional, and international level. 

After all, by working together and sharing successes on a global level, you will address glocal healthcare problems.  


Across the USA, there is a shortage of primary healthcare providers, especially nurses. As a result, this has empowered RNs to step forward and take up leadership roles to fill the void in today’s healthcare system. 

In fact, more and more nurses are ditching bedside caregiving and taking up leadership roles to bring about change and solve healthcare issues on a global level. That said, if you’re a nursing candidate looking to dive into the nursing field, now is the time to do so.

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