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Servant Leadership in Healthcare

The modern healthcare system is going through constant and rather severe changes that need to be managed properly to benefit the medical landscape. Numerous factors can affect the healthcare environment, including globalization, the population’s aging, and technological and economic ones. Consequently, there should be certain styles and requirements for the APN roles and their leadership needs. Some of these theories that can be applied to the nursing field involve relational leadership, situational or contingency leadership, servant leadership, and other effective styles. The purpose of this paper is to define the latter, servant leadership, and provide an example of its successful use in a real setting.

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Servant leadership is a unique philosophy that has the main goal of a leader’s serving. This concept differs from traditional leadership that is aimed at the thriving of the organization. For example, a servant leader in healthcare sees their objective in taking care of the employees and addressing their needs and concerns (Joel, 2018). There are several characteristics of a servant leader, including empathy, listening, paying attention, persuasiveness, trustworthiness, and awareness of one’s weaknesses, strengths, emotions, and values.

It is hard to disagree that clinicians are also leaders. They lead patients and their families through their illness and recovery paths and also guide physicians-in-training through the challenges of learning medicine (Stoller, 2017). Therefore, servant leadership is incredibly appropriate and beneficial for clinicians. They need to be empathetic and concentrate on the needs and issues of the patients and students while postponing the success and development of the healthcare organization into the background.

There are many examples of successful servant leadership, and I also have some from my nursing practice. A severe patient in our medical institution did not want to follow any recommendations because she was certain they would not be effective. Her condition worsened, and then another nurse manager gave her an educational speech. During their conversation, she made the patient understand that her health was the priority of the nurse personally and the entire hospital. She managed to find the right words and understand the client’s feelings. Finally, the woman let go of her fears and agreed to the proposed treatment. I believe that this is how a leader in healthcare should act.


Joel, L. A. (2018). Advanced practice nursing: Essentials for role development (4th ed.). F. A. Davis.

Stoller, J. K. (2017). The clinician as leader: Why, how, and when. Annals of the American Thoracic Society, 14(11).

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