Managers are present at all levels of the healthcare system and serve as a link between employees and the institution. They determine the purposefulness of the team’s work and support the psychological climate and morale of employees. Leaders should possess an ability to influence both an entire team and particular individuals, to achieve organizational goals (Stavrianopoulos, 2012). Besides, a leadership style is important, because it can promote greater employee commitment and can influence employee motivation (Cherry, 2016). The purpose of this paper is to analyze the author’s leadership style and discuss the attributes of leadership needed for the author’s role as a graduate-level nurse, specifically as a family nurse practitioner.
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According to the quiz results, the author was identified as a democratic nurse leader, which is considered one of the most effective leadership styles. The key attributes of this style are responsibility delegation, empowerment, and shared decision-making (Anonson et al., 2014). In the democratic approach, a leader provides subordinates with the independence to perform their functions (Cherry, 2016). Experts in the field emphasize that democratic leaders provide employees with greater freedom, which is an important factor in empowerment strategy (Anonson et al., 2014). Therefore, members of the team can make joint decisions together with their leader.
The results of the quiz fit into the author’s beliefs about a democratic leadership style. For example, I tend to exhibit the attributes of democratic leadership to meet corporate goals and encourage my fellow employees to put organizational objectives as their top priority (Bender, 2016). The questions from the quiz also encouraged me to analyze critically the communication techniques, which I use when working with teams. I prefer open communication and discussion, which is one of the attributes of a democratic leadership style. Thus, the quiz results have confirmed my assumptions about the style I tend to employ when working with my fellow employees.
In my opinion, if work conditions and climate within the organization are favorable, then employees will seek to interact with each other to solve complex problems more effectively. Democratic leaders can establish a positive work environment by stimulating constructive discussions and providing feedback. Also, the democratic style of leadership allows engaging employees in joint decision-making and encouraging their autonomy by stimulating their self-control and self-management (Dolan Hunt, 2014). Importantly, through a democratic approach to management, the leader will ensure that corporate goals are reached more consciously since employees receive an opportunity to analyze their actions and take initiative and responsibility for making decisions.
To achieve the action, the leader should delegate the tasks, answer the questions of employees, and provide supervision when necessary. Many experts believe that nurses should be given greater opportunities for autonomy, which will positively affect both their job satisfaction and patient outcomes (Daly, Speedy, & Jackson, 2015). Moreover, nurses can achieve greater autonomy with a democratic approach to leadership. It implies that nurses will find solutions that are more effective through interprofessional collaborations between specialists (Daly et al., 2015). Consequently, the potential of each employee will be used to a greater degree, which is a benefit for both employees and an entire organization (Daly et al., 2015). Since I always strive for reaching such aims as open and constructive nurse communication, greater liability of nurses, and interprofessional collaborations, the results of the quiz proving that I am a democratic leader do fit into my personal beliefs about my management style, and they also envision the type of the leader I wish to become.
Attributes of Leadership for Graduate Level Nurses
One of the main skills that each nurse leader should possess is the ability to change leadership styles based on the current needs of the team. Therefore, a nurse should acquire skills to utilize attributes of authoritarian, delegative, and participative styles to adapt to the setting (Cherry, 2016). The attributes that graduate-level nurses should possess include a vision of the future, which will be transmitted to their team, shared decision-making, and a feeling of trust to ensure that employees will comprehend their responsibility in achieving organizational goals. Also, graduate-level specialists should know how to maintain employee morale at a high level despite the amount of the workload. Moreover, one of the main prerequisites for effective nurse leaders is the ability to establish positive and productive relationships with fellow nurses through communication.
Besides, a graduate-level nurse should be knowledgeable about how to empower nurses and improve communication between specialists to give room for multidisciplinary collaborations. Therefore, empowerment is an essential attribute, which nurse leaders should possess considering the current healthcare setting and nurse shortage (Anonson et al., 2014). Furthermore, cultural competence is another significant leadership attribute. Since nurses have to communicate and cooperate with clients and employees with different cultural backgrounds, being culturally competent is necessary for meeting corporate objectives and reaching better patient outcomes.
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Personal Leadership Attributes
The main personal leadership attribute to be discussed is cultural diversity awareness. Since the workforce and clients can be culturally rich, diversity management also becomes an important leadership attribute (Anonson et al., 2014). I believe that the awareness of cultural diversity will help me in my family nurse practitioner role. It is an essential attribute that every contemporary nurse should possess because it provides the specialist with an opportunity to interact effectively with any patient. Cultural competence will allow me to avoid being biased or prejudiced when performing my duties and respect differences in people. Also, it will help me to build constructive communication with other professionals since each person with his or her individual background can contribute greatly to the process of care (Bender, 2016). Diversity management enables leaders to utilize this experience with due respect and attention.
Working collaboratively is the attribute I would like to cultivate in myself. When functioning as a family nurse practitioner, I will have to be more self-confident when collaborating with other specialists and patients. Therefore, I should learn to assess the setting critically and evaluate whether it is appropriate to risk or not. Since making any decision always presupposes the risk for which I have to be held accountable, I have to be prepared to take on greater responsibility when performing my duties (Dolan Hunt, 2014). Moreover, if my initial decision turns out to be unjustified, I will have to try reaching the goal once again through effective communication and cooperation. Therefore, I also need to improve my communication skills.
Thus, it can be concluded that nurses have to exhibit multiple leadership skills and competencies to function effectively in the healthcare setting. According to Stavrianopoulos (2012), nurse leaders are “responsible for planning a patient’s contact with the health care system” (p. 399). The point of contact implies multiple aspects of care and the engagement of many other specialists in the joint work. Therefore, nurse leaders have to possess the essential attributes of effective management to ensure the contact of patients with the system proceeds smoothly. Democratic style of leadership, which I tend to exhibit, is considered one of the most effective managerial approaches. Nevertheless, I have to develop self-confidence and improve my communication skills through increased practice to ensure I can function effectively as a family nurse practitioner after graduation.
Anonson, J., Walker, M. E., Arries, E., Maposa, S., Telford, P., & Berry L. (2014). Qualities of exemplary nurse leaders: Perspectives of frontline nurses. Journal of Nursing Management, 22(1), 127-136.
Bender, M. (2016). Conceptualizing clinical nurse leader practice: An interpretive synthesis. Journal of Nursing Management, 24(1), E23-E31.
Cherry, K. (2016). What’s your leadership style? Learn more about your strengths and weaknesses as a leader. Web.
Daly, J., Speedy, S., & Jackson, D. (2015). Leadership and nursing: Contemporary perspectives (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Elsevier.
Dolan Hunt, D. (2014). The nurse professional: Leveraging your education for transition into practice. New York, NY: Springer.
Stavrianopoulos, T. (2012). The clinical nurse leader. Health Science Journal, 6(3), 392-401.