Leadership is a critical component of nursing. Nursing students learn about leadership in a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program. The concept of good leadership is significant to registered nurses (RN) because they need to efficiently deliver patient care. An online RN to BSN program prepares nurses with leadership skills that they can implement in all healthcare settings.
Why Is Leadership and Management Important in Nursing?
Leadership in nursing is both informal and formal. Every day, nurses have a responsibility to take initiative regarding the health of their patients. They are at the point of care, so they know the concerns, needs and preferences of their patients.
Officially, the responsibility of leadership falls to nurse managers or nurse leaders. These nurses preside over staff and manage nursing activities in every type of clinical care environment.
Nurses look to their managers and leaders for information, advice and feedback. Leaders should act as educators, coaches and mentors by encouraging nurses to ask questions and seek assistance when needed so they can succeed in their nursing practice. They also need to give nurses clear direction and set realistic expectations.
What Is the Role of Nurse Manager?
The primary duty of nurse managers is to make sure their units, departments or service lines are operating efficiently. Nurse managers are responsible for making sure that the work is done and that nurses are providing competent patient care. A nurse manager's duties may include the following:
- Planning patient care.
- Ensuring staff carries out assignments.
- Setting performance goals.
- Incorporating improvements for patient care.
- Offering continuing education and professional development opportunities.
What Is the Job of a Nurse Leader?
Nurse leaders have less direct interaction with patients than nurse managers. They carry out a health organization's mission and vision, and develop strategies for achieving the objectives of their employer. Their tasks may involve the following:
- Overseeing patient satisfaction.
- Adhering to regulatory compliance laws.
- Setting or revising practice standards and procedures.
- Handling budgets.
- Influencing policy changes.
- Inspiring nursing staff.
How Can You Become a Nurse Manager or Leader?
To start your path to a career as a nurse manager or leader, you first have to be licensed to practice as an RN. If you are an RN with an associate degree, you may want to consider enrolling in an online RN to BSN program. An online program can fit into your work schedule and is an affordable choice. Students can complete the bridge program in as few as 12 months.
The University of South Carolina Aiken offers a 100 percent online RN to BSN program. The curriculum includes a course on Leadership and Management. You will examine the knowledge and skills required for effective leadership and management in the nursing profession.
Both nurse managers and leaders should be passionate about their jobs and instill a desire to provide exceptional patient care in their staff.
When nurses trust their managers and leaders, they are more likely to feel appreciated. Nurses who are content in their job do not want to disappoint their leaders. Happy nurses can also improve patient satisfaction. Happy patients may respond better to nurses, which can improve outcomes.
All nurses have an obligation to provide quality and safe patient care, and they are integral to transforming healthcare.
Learn more about USC Aiken's online RN to BSN program.
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