Nurse Leadership Skills Made, Not Granted

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, for HealthLeaders Media , April 2, 2013

As the healthcare industry continues to evolve and endure periods of upheaval, smart and savvy nurse leadership has never been more critical.

But as Judy Watland, R.N., MSN, Senior Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer/Nurse Executive at O'Connor Hospital in San Jose, CA, told me recently, it takes more than excellent clinical skills to rise to the role of today's nurse leader.

"Today's leaders have to be so much more than that," she told me. "We have to have new skill sets" including business proficiency, an understanding of financial principles, knowledge of productivity management, and the ability to give nursing a voice at the board table.

See Also: Time for Women to 'Lean In' to Healthcare Leadership Roles

Watland and her colleagues agree that healthcare organizations would be well-served by working with schools to help young nurses in training receive the kind of skills they'll need in a post-reform environment.

That's why it's exciting to see nursing schools taking nurse leadership so seriously with programs specifically designed to cultivate these skills in future leaders.


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1 comments on "Nurse Leadership Skills Made, Not Granted"

Betty Noyes (4/2/2013 at 11:36 AM)
It is very exciting that we are having these conversations! Leadership is a practiced art and requires a skill set that is needed at the bedside to the board room. I remain concerned that the specific tactical requirements of the middle manager nurse need to be addressed in a fundamental way to build skill, competence and confidence. These tactical programs need to be provided to an interdisciplinary class - student body. Increased understanding of collaboration, mutual respect and mutual mission of a safe and quality care within an accountable health care organization, needs to be experienced and emphasized in the learning environment!




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