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The Role of the Nurse Leader: Shared Decision-Making


Effective leadership is a part of the success of any nursing intervention. Healthcare settings should have one strong leader who takes responsibility for all decisions and actions. In modern hospitals, perceptions of climate depend on managerial practices, as they determine how patients and healthcare experts are educated and how they understand their tasks (Livne, Peterfreund, & Sheps, 2017). This paper will focus on a nurse leader’s role in shared decision- making with regard to communication, training, budget, change management, and authority.

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Nurse Leadership and Communication

Every nursing practice is a combination of regulations, satisfaction, and education. Interdisciplinary communication and collaboration cannot be ignored in healthcare facilities, and leaders must take responsibility for their organizations (Bender, 2016). A nurse leader identifies the main principles of ongoing communication and strengthens relationships between nurses and patients. It is not enough to create rules and make sure that all participants follow them. It is also necessary for a leader to support staff engagement, provide explanations, and avoid conflicts (Bender, 2016).

The leader should also choose a person to oversee the conditions under which patients receive care and the framework for communication of pain management plans and treatment care plans (Cordo & Hill-Rodriguez, 2017). Successful communication is defined by the ability of medical staff and patients to express their needs, as well as the leader’s capability to recognize the main aspects of shared decision-making and emphasize them for employees.

Nurse Leadership and Training

Training is another task for nurse leaders to deal with while promoting shared decision- making in a clinical setting. The leader and nurses must participate in different activities and support collaboration to make clear assessments and make decisions (Cordo & Hill-Rodriguez, 2017). In a modern healthcare environment or in any other environment, leaders have to be ready to take responsibility for multiple tasks and plan time accordingly to coach, train, model, monitor, and engage. With regard to training in shared decision-making, a leader’s task is to give clear definitions and explanations, as well as to provide feedback on performance and offer appropriate advice. It is necessary to develop strong observational skills, critical thinking, and reflection in order to stay objective and meet a medical facility’s goals.

Nurse Leadership and Budget

The leadership style and budget have a specific role in the work of any employee. People need to believe in the fairness of their work, the salary that is offered for it, and the contributions of the leader. Budgets should be locally managed, and an organization relies on the decisions made by a leader. However, questions usually arise about the decision whether or not to inform all participants about the budget that is provided. In a shared decision-making model, people learn how to cooperate and reach joint decisions through multiple discussions and evaluations (Cordo & Hill-Rodriguez, 2017). Therefore, the nurse leader has to clarify how to inform the staff about the importance of budgeting, its strong and weak aspects, and any potential or unexpected financial issues that have to be solved within an organization.

Nurse Leadership and Change Management

Any new task or additional requirement implies the inevitability of change and a need for effective management. Leaders need to recognize that change should never be a threat to nurses and inform them about possible ways change can be implemented. Regardless of the nursing practice chosen, an effective change management strategy must be used with its main components, including a description of goals, identification of skills and available resources, and evaluation of expected outcomes (Bender, 2016). In shared decision-making, openness is one of the main aspects of change management. Openness provides an opportunity for employees to create the necessary strategic climate as a framework within which it is possible to communicate organizational goals and shape processes to obtain the desired achievements (Livne et al., 2017).

The leader is not only a developer of change, but also a participant in the process. Therefore, the development of such skills as communication, creativity, integrity, passion, and commitment cannot be neglected. The role of the nurse leader with regard to change management includes such steps as support, providing information, and cooperation.

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Nurse Leadership and Authority

To ensure success in shared decision-making, the nurse leader has to use his/her authority in the correct manner. This will help to drive and sustain change and effective working processes across the healthcare system (Bender, 2016). To remain successful, leaders should never flaunt their authority to provoke negative emotions, threaten people, or achieve selfish goals. Authority is a power that helps to control, motivate, and support a team. In shared decision-making practices, the nurse leader must use his/her authority in a very specific way to avoid boasting, depriving the participants of independent decisions, or imposing unnecessary tasks on the staff.


To conclude, the role of the nurse leader in shared decision-making practice has to be properly recognized and discussed as it defines the quality and development of many working processes. In addition to the necessity of cooperating with the staff, the leader has to use his/her authority and explain how to deal with change, communicate with patients, and use available resources. Training and budgeting are also integral processes in clinical practices, and the leaders who choose shared decision-making for their hospitals can never neglect their duties.


Bender, M. (2016). Clinical nurse leader integration into practice: Developing theory to guide best practice. Journal of Professional Nursing, 32(1), 32–40. Web.

Cordo, J., & Hill-Rodriguez, D. (2017). The evolution of a nursing professional practice model through leadership support of clinical nurse engagement, empowerment, and shared decision making. Nurse Leader, 15(5), 325–330. Web.

Livne, Y., Peterfreund, I., & Sheps, J. (2017). Barriers to patient education and their relationship to nurses’ perceptions of patient education climate. Clinical Nursing Studies, 5(4), 65. Web.

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