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Transformational Leadership in Nursing

Leadership Traits for Successful Management in the Clinical Arena

Leadership is not simply a role one is forced to take on at his/her work; it is always a choice that distinguishes a born leader from a regular employee. Regarding the sphere of nursing, “successful nurse leaders are those who engage others to work together effectively in pursuit of a shared goal” (Weiss & Tappen, 2014, p.4). In order to achieve success as a leader one needs to comply with the certain leadership traits. These traits are inherent to every manager and can be improved in the course of a nursing practice. Moreover, each leader needs to strive for enhancing those qualities if he or she wants to reap the benefits of a properly planned managing model.

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Solid Goals

The leader needs to strictly define the goals that he or she is seeking to achieve. As Hutchinson and Jackson (2013) point out, the key leadership objectives are always targeted at “achieving optimal patient outcomes and workplace enhancement” (p. 11). A successful manager is able to, first, outline these objectives and, second, choose the right organizational course that would make them achievable.

Having a clear vision of how to arrange nurses’ work to reduce readmissions and increase patients’ satisfaction appears to be a matter of proper clinic’s performance. It is difficult to make others do what one wants if a person has no idea what needs to be done. Therefore, highlighting the key duties of employees and developing an effective working plan turns out to be a number one task for every leader involved in the sphere of management of the nursing staff.


A wise manager is expected to consider the knowledge and experiences of the previously conducted studies and the used practices. Predicting the major risks and obstacles an organization may encounter arrives as an integral part of leader’s duties. To overcome these obstacles a person needs to leverage an entire group for achieving success. Eventually, this task may require consulting with experts and learning a lot of material devoted to the matter.

However, leaders are obliged to have a level of expertise in the fields of their operation. As Phillips, Stalter, Dolansky, and Lopez (2016) highlight, “there is a critical need for leadership in quality and safety to reform today’s disparate spectrum of health services to serve patients in complex health care environments” (p. 15). The reforms, however, can only be fulfilled if the leader possesses a required command of knowledge.

Setting Standards

Leadership is supposed to demand a high level of excellence from all the employees. People always want to see the result of their work, and it is normal for one to advance requirements. This statement refers to both supervisors and regular nurses. Nevertheless, by the term “high standards” one should not understand perfection. Of course, the standards are meant to be high, yet, they still need to maintain realistic expectations. Wise leaders do not set forward goals that are impossible to achieve. Instead, they minimize errors made by others and develop a management model that is suitable for both themselves and their employees.

The fact is that the manager may not be more knowledgeable than all of the members of his or her team (Hutchinson & Jackson, 2013). However, by showing employees the very principles of an effective work he or she helps them to fully unveil their potential.

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Concepts of Leadership and Collaborative Leadership Styles

Integrating Leadership Concepts into a Professional Nursing Role

Regarding the role of a nurse in a clinical setting, the above-mentioned leadership concepts help nurse practitioners to adapt to working environments faster. Thus, solid goals allow the nursing staff to have a clear vision of the common welfare, which then results in more precise sharing of their duties (Finkelman, 2017). The expanded knowledge of a leader opens multiple opportunities for staff training and improving nurses’ professional skills.

Setting forward educational goals may be treated as an integral component of a successful implantation of a given concept. Finally, highlighting the standards of performance creates a premise for the improvement of patients’ satisfaction with nurses’ work and general recognition of a clinic.

How Collaborative Leadership Styles Can Enhance the Role of a Nurse Leader

It is evident that a nurse leader sets the tone for the entire department in the matters of communication between patients and nurses. Effective communication is crucial for any organization’s proper operation. By utilizing the key leadership traits aimed at efficient collaboration within a clinical setting, a manger can foster communication through making all the medical units easily accessible (Finkelman, 2017). This methodology can also assist in the matters of conflict resolution since the nurse leader can establish ground rules for staff behavior by means of the most effective standards of work. Eventually, the mentioned collaborative leadership styles are used to not only improve the staff performance but enhance the role of a nurse leader as well. The improved communication within a clinic characterizes the manager as a person who knows how to arrange an effective team work.


Finkelman, A. (2017). Professional nursing concepts: Competencies for quality leadership. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Hutchinson, M., & Jackson, D. (2013). Transformational leadership in nursing: Towards a more critical interpretation. Nursing Inquiry, 20(1), 11-22.

Phillips, J. M., Stalter, A. M., Dolansky, M. A., & Lopez, G. M. (2016). Fostering future leadership in quality and safety in health care through systems thinking. Journal of Professional Nursing, 32(1), 15-24.

Weiss, S. A., & Tappen, R. M. (2014). Essentials of nursing leadership and management. Philadelphia, PA: FA Davis.

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