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Published by Maria Marilyn Madrid

Being a nurse is not all about finding fashionable nurse pouches and watches. One also needs to know leadership qualities in order to be promoted and achieve full success as a nurse. But do these nurses know what leadership qualities they should acquire and develop? Why is it important for nurses to possess leadership qualities? Let us go back to the very simple definition of leadership, which is the ability to influence others in order to achieve a common objective. In patient treatment and rehabilitation, the definition is very relevant as nurses should be able to convince patients to recover from health and medical fitness complication. So what are these leadership qualities that nurses should have?

The Personality or Trait Theory of Leadership

This theory suggests that leaders have common characteristics and these are natural to people. This theory assumes that leaders are not born naturally with these traits and one can acquire it over the years. The combination of these traits makes one a great leader. Some of the most popular traits cited in this theory are charisma, confidence, cognitive skills, high level of motivation, emotional maturity, honesty, integrity, and high sense of achievement to name a few. How are these traits important with the nursing profession? Let us give few examples:

  1. Charisma – gaining patient confidence is easy if these people find you unassuming and easy to deal with.
  2. Emotional maturity – a nurse is always on guard to maintain professional level in terms of nurse to patient relationship.
  3. Cognitive skills – he or she is able to identify other health issues and concerns and is able to elevate it to attending doctors.

Situational Theory of Leadership

The trait theory of leadership is met with negative criticisms; thus, this theory was developed and it supposed that there is no best leadership traits and style. The theory suggests that one needs to identify and determine the best leadership styles and skills that are appropriate. How is this applicable in the nursing profession? Nursing practices, theories, and ideas suggest that there is a standard operating procedure. However, it follows that there are always exception to the rule. Thus, as a nurse you have to understand patients and deal accordingly with how each of them will be treated.

Transformational Leadership Theory

In this theory, leadership is not all about leaders but it also involves followers. It is similar to the concept of give and take. There are four elements involved in this theory; considering the individual, intellectually stimulated, inspirational motivation, and high level of influence. How are these important in the nursing profession? Here are just some ideas; individual treatment of patients instead of textbook treatment and ability to identify more than common problems.

Indeed, it is fashionable for nurses to understand and know that they have leadership instincts and abilities on top of wearing stylish nurse pouches and watches. Leadership is not limited to business and management; it is also applicable to other professions like nursing.

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