How to Develop Leadership Skills in Nursing

How to Develop Leadership Skills in Nursing

When the majority of people are asked to describe what they would consider to be a good quality in a nurse, one of the core things would undoubtedly be leadership skills.

And while a general degree in nursing would indeed teach you some of the essential skills for practicing as a nurse in this area, like most things, leadership skills come with practice and experience. If you are eager to develop your leadership skills whilst working as a registered nurse or in a higher position, you will be happy to know that there are some things you can do to develop your skill set in this area, and this article will explore some of the most straightforward ways to do so.


The first way that you can develop these skills is to undertake additional training, such as an online MSN in nurse leadership. This kind of training will help you build on your ability to communicate more clearly, assess situations, and draw conclusions from findings relating to clinical readings and situations. But of course, this is not the only training that you can undertake that will help to enhance your leadership skills in this area, and if you are curious about undertaking this kind of training, talk to your supervisor or tutor if you are currently undertaking training.

Mentor or Be Mentored

Many people state that the best way to develop leadership skills is to be led. This will allow you to reflect on which areas of the leading style worked for you and which areas you would like to avoid in your practicing of this skill. Many nurses who are looking to develop leadership potential often mentor or shadow training nurses and offer advice to them. This will help you to boost your confidence and will also help with clinical practice.

Work on Confidence

Confidence is key when you are working as part of a group and especially when you are a nurse overseeing the care of patients. Building confidence will require you to develop self-awareness and trust between you and your colleagues. You will also need to become reflective and examine your strengths and weaknesses along with other members of your team without being judgmental. You will also need to learn how to keep your emotions in check and understand how an emotional situation may impact those you are working with.

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Work on Communication

Much like confidence, when you are a nurse, communication is required to be successful. To be an effective leader in the nursing profession will hinge on you having enhanced written and spoken communication skills, as well as being able to listen to your patients, your colleagues, and any administration actively and taking away key points from these interactions.

Get Involved

There can be a lot more to nursing than doing ward rounds and overseeing patient care, although that is more than enough! For those looking to develop leadership skills, it can be worth volunteering your time in extra areas of hospital or clinic life, such as serving on committees or organizations within these settings, to help you develop your leadership potential outside of the ward. But the skills you learn will certainly be transferrable!


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