3 Leadership Skills All Nurse Managers Should Master

The terms “manager” and “leader” are often used interchangeably. While a manager must be a leader, a leader does not necessarily have to be a manager. Those who work in the field of nursing hope to have a great nurse manager with excellent leadership skills. This is because the nurse manager has delegated authority and is expected to lead their staff. Without the appropriate leadership, the nursing department in a hospital or assisted living facility would not operate properly. Nurses on the team would not know what they are doing properly and they would not feel empowered to do their best. If you plan on becoming a nurse manager or you are trying to improve your leadership skills, here are 3 skills you should focus on developing to be the best nurse manager you can be.

1. Treat Your Team With Respect

Everyone has worked for a manager at one point in time. Some have dealt with a manager that treated them as if they were a child rather than a professional. There is nothing worse than making your team feel like you do not respect them as professionals. One of the first things you need to do as a team manager and a leader is respect your staff. If you do not respect your staff, they will not respect you.

You have to remember that your nurses have their degree and they are competent. If you are new nurse manager, letting your nurses make their own decisions might be difficult. You cannot micromanage them and make them feel as if you do not have faith in their decision-making. Show your team that you trust them and you respect them and it will make for a better working environment.

2. Always Motivate Your Staff and Keep Them Empowered

Some of the best leaders in any field are great motivators. If you do not motivate your team, your team will not strive to do their best. The key is to set a good example for your staff and hope that the example you set influences them to do their best while they are on the job. You might think that there is not room for change in the healthcare environment. While some things cannot change, there may be processes that you can change to make your department more efficient. Motivate your staff to make recommendations and they will feel like they are a valuable part of the team. If you keep your staff happy and you keep a positive outlook, you will increase job satisfaction in your department.

3. Learn How to Deal With Conflicts

As a manager, you are expected to deal with conflicts and crises as they may arise. To deal with conflicts, you must be a skilled decision maker. You will need to learn which conflicts you will need to deal with and which conflicts can be handled among the staff. If a staff members comes to you and asks you to help them deal with a conflict, you need to solve the problem before it becomes more serious. Your staff members look to you for support and leadership. You have to be ready to deal with confrontations in a professional and timely manner when you are an effective leader.

Leadership skills can be learned. You need to make sure you are available and accessible to your staff when you are a nurse manager. Be sure that your staff respect you and always be a good communicator. If you are a staff advocate and an effective leader, everyone in the workplace will enjoy working with you and will look up to you as a role model.

Sarah Biggs is a nurse manager and guest author at www.bestcollegesonline.org, where she contributed to the guide to the most affordable RN to BSN programs online.

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