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Leadership in Healthcare Institutions

Leadership style in a healthcare institution refers to the methods used to give instructions to nurses, execute plans and motivate nurses to perform their duties. Most essential leadership traits for clinical officers include tolerance of stress, willingness to accept responsibility, self-confidence, energy, assertiveness, and decisiveness (McConnell, 2012). The contingency theory suggests that a single style of leadership is not adequate for decision-making in an institution, but rather the integration of leadership styles is vital. It is always advisable for a leader to be adjustable in decision-making and adopt more than one leadership style. An incompetent leader always tends to stick to one leadership style which may make them slow in adjusting to situations or challenges. The leadership styles used in hospitals include autocratic, participative, and free reign styles.

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In autocratic leadership, the leader makes decisions without considering advice from his subordinate staff. This style of leadership is appropriate when the leader has all information needed to address a problem. In participative or democratic leadership, the leader takes into consideration the advice from at least one of his junior nurses during the process of decision making (Miller, 2000). However, the leader still retains the last say in making the final resolution. This style of leadership is ideal as it makes nurses feel part of the health institution. Consequently, they become more motivated hence discharge their duties well. Another style of leadership is free reign. In this case, the leader permits his subordinates to make decisions for the institution while maintaining the responsibility of the decisions made. A leader using this style of leadership tends to have a lot of confidence in his subordinates.

Formal power is achieved on merit while informal power is achieved due to the influence an individual has at a working place. Political action awareness refers to the knowledge of the nurse leaders about legislation and policies that govern decision-making. Since nurses are always involved in discussions related to legislation that directly influences healthcare provision and quality, they must be informed adequately. Political awareness of nurse leaders is vital as it makes nurses to discharging their duties with a lot of competencies. This is because new legislation affecting the healthcare industry is always being formulated. Nurse leaders can use professional organizations to be informed about political action in the healthcare industry. These professional organizations normally have broad membership bases across the world. The organizations can conduct seminars where the nurse leaders can meet and share experiences (Scott, 2012).

Additionally, seminars can help them obtain relevant information related to healthcare laws and policies. Nurse leaders can use professional organizations to get links to healthcare and legislative agencies. Nurse leaders must join professional organizations to be aware of political developments affecting the healthcare industry. Staying updated on current healthcare policies and legislation is necessary as it helps secure the nursing practice and environment in which they operate. Consequently, they will be more relevant and motivated in their work. Professional organizations also enhance networking between nurse leaders. This facilitates the dissemination of new ideas between nurse leaders and various institutions. This enables the nurses to brainstorm and share concepts or seek advice from their professional peers. The professional organizations provide mentorship to the nurse leaders. They keep the members updated on the healthcare industry’s emerging trends, and this helps to ensure the relevance of the members.


McConnell, C. (2012). The Effective Health Care Supervisor. Burlington, Mass: Jones & Bartlett Learning. Press.

Miller, I. (2000). American Health Care Blues: Blue Cross, HMOs, and Pragmatic Reform Since 1960. New Brunswick, N.J: Transaction Publishers. Press.

Scott, W. (2000). Institutional Change and Healthcare Organizations: From Professional Dominance to Managed Care. Chicago: Univ. Of Chicago Press. Press.

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