Lessons in Leadership from Outstanding Nurses

Rebecca Hendren, for HealthLeaders Media , November 9, 2010

These leaders inspire tremendous loyalty in their staff. One nominator wrote, "Her transformational leadership style inspires and instills loyalty and determination in her staff to "get the job done" and ensure patients get what they need."

Another common theme was the promotion of education and learning at every level. "The best leaders promote a culture where their staff value themselves, value each other, and value the organization and the patient," said one of the nominators. Many noted their nurse leader's commitment to elevating the professionalism of the nursing staff by supporting and encouraging ongoing education.

"Under her leadership, we have exceeded our goal of a 10% increase in advanced degrees or certifications, increased our number of nurses belonging to professional organizations, and have met 100% compliance among nursing directors being master's prepared," wrote one nominator.

Almost all the essays mentioned the leaders' skills in mentoring and coaching others and their passion for nursing. This passion was reported as a significant source of inspiration for their staff, as was the nurse leader's visibility and approachability.

"She is always visible: offering nursing forums, making unit rounds with her directors, and safety rounds with our patient safety officer and fellow administrators," noted one essay.

Next week, I'll write about the winners of the Nursing Image Awards and what leadership qualities made them stand out to the judges.

Rebecca Hendren is a senior managing editor at HCPro, Inc. in Danvers, MA. She edits www.StrategiesForNurseManagers.com and manages The Leaders' Lounge blog for nurse managers. Email her at rhendren@hcpro.com.

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