1. Leadership requires personal mastery – Nurses show leadership when they can demonstrate that they are knowledgable and competent at their jobs. People have a hard time respecting someone who does not know what they are doing.
2. Leadership is about values – Nurse leaders make their choices based off their values. Fairness, equality, and democracy are some examples that help them lead.
3. Leadership is about service – Nurses demonstrate leadership when they show that they are willing to enter the trenches with the people they work with. Asking how they can help someone is the first step to
4. Leadership is about people and relationships – Like mentioned above people respond well to leaders who are willing to jump in and get their hands dirty. It’s important for leaders to talk casually with and get to know their employees in order to develop trust.
5. Leadership is contextual – Great nurse leaders have experience and are able to put most of the difficult situations into context in order to see the big picture. Much like floor nursing, this helps future outcomes and not just the situation at hand.
6. Leadership is about the management of meaning – Leadership and management go hand in hand. Nurse leaders must be able to manage the logistics of budget, staff fatigue, moral, and patient safety.
7. Leadership is about balance – Nurses know just about as good as anyone how to multitask, an important skill among good leaders.
8. Leadership is about continuous learning and improvement – Nurses should not be satisfied just with what they learned in school. They should seek continual learning in order to stay familiar with current best practices.
9. Leadership is about effective decision making – At times, nurse leaders have to made a choice and know that there is no choice that will please everyone.
10. Leadership is a political process – Great nurse leaders must know when to be diplomatic and when to just make a decision for the best interests of the unit.
11. Leadership is about modeling – Nurses leaders must set an example for their patients, coworkers and other clinical staff they work with. This will also help develop trust with the people they work with.
12. Leadership is about integrity – Most importantly, nurse leaders must have integrity to follow up on promises and have compassion for the people they manage. People notice when someone does not have integrity, and nursing is a profession where it is a necessary quality.