The Power Of Nurse Leaders: What It Takes To Become A Leader

nurse in green

Who is a nurse leader? 

Nurse leadership is critical for nurses interested in taking over the mantle and becoming leaders within a healthcare organization. Nurse leaders represent their profession and all the people related to it and promote teamwork and patient wellness. 

More than that…

Aiming towards nurse leadership is one of the best ways for nurses to advance to the next level of their careers. A nurse leader’s typical responsibilities include ensuring better patient outcomes, reducing medical errors, and improving patient care while also assisting the complete team in succeeding. 

They are team leaders who collaborate with other healthcare team members to look at the bigger picture and redesign the care environment for the better. 

Power of nurse leaders

Role And Duties Of A Nurse Leader: 

A nurse leader has several roles beyond just taking care of the patient’s medical needs. They act as leaders, advocates, and teachers to implement the practices. Nurse leaders typically perform the following essential duties: 

  • Advocate for patients, communities, and families
  • Analyze quality of care and outcomes to improve patient satisfaction and minimize medical error
  • Play an active clinical role in risk reduction and patient care 
  • Promote leadership in nursing while educating colleagues about the latest healthcare principles and strategies
  • Delegate responsibilities for care setting management 
  • Collect and integrate data by using available technology for determining the best possible outcomes

How To Become A Nurse Leader: 

Practicing leadership skills in the nursing career can go a long way, especially if you have the willingness and the ability to do so. Alongside being caring, compassionate, and kind, a few of the following skills are required for nurses to take on competent leadership roles. 

1. Implementing Change

Being a leader is about guiding your team and having the ability to bring about changes when necessary. The healthcare environment is always open to improvisation, and it’s the nurse leader’s responsibility to implement change where it seems critical. 

Nurse leaders are better equipped to bring about impactful change as they are well aware of patient care and safety. The healthcare industry and nurses are always met with changes, and it’s on a strong nurse leader to help the nurses navigate those changes and be better prepared in their roles. 

Nurse leaders can also help their team excel by implementing change beneficial for both the staff and the organization. 

2. Continuing Education

The healthcare landscape is one of the most dynamic globally, with new studies coming out at every corner. In such circumstances, healthcare professionals like nurses should not underestimate the significance of continuing education. A competent nurse leader understands that higher education is the direct way to career growth. 

Nurse leaders with the proper education and degrees can take more dynamic roles, such as nurse managers. Nurse leaders in managerial roles are responsible for their department’s budget, screening and interviewing, resolving issues, monitoring the departments, scheduling staff, and more. 

A minimum of a master’s degree is required to take on leadership roles as nurses and move on to become even chief nursing officers.

3. Contribute To Improving Patient Care

Patient care is the primary responsibility of all nurses regardless of the leadership role. However, nurse leaders have an additional obligation to ensure that patient care and satisfaction are subjected to improvisation whenever possible. 

Nurse leaders practice methods that ultimately lead to major contributions to the quality of care and improving overall healthcare operations. Nurse leaders must be given a role to collaborate with other healthcare professionals to suggest and determine the best ways to enhance the patient experience. 

There’s a strong correlation between a high-quality working environment and effective leadership, which means that nurse leaders are crucial in inducing a safe culture and positive patient outcomes. 

nurse in green

4. Join An Organization

It’s important to align yourself with other like-minded nurses to ease into the leadership role. Networking is an important aspect of learning and helps find clarity regarding your career. 

Joining prestigious organizations such as the American Nurses Association and the Sigma Nursing Excellence International will assist aspiring nurse leaders in learning about career advancement and commitment to education. 

Organizations also offer free educational classes and invaluable career advice vital for polishing leadership skills in different healthcare settings. 

5. Self-Confidence

Leadership roles require conviction which is how leaders can establish themselves as a recognizable force. This conviction and determination require self-confidence and sheer willpower to help the team grow. Nurses who believe in themselves and their abilities are the ones who make exemplary leaders and bring about impactful change in the healthcare facility. 

So, how do a nurse leader gain self-confidence? A competent nurse leader has a strong understanding of their profession and always keeps an open mind towards learning. Reasonable control over knowledge, communications skills, and the ability to improvise are all the things that boost self-confidence. 

Increasing self-confidence influences your team to have a strong faith in your skills and direction as a nurse leader. 

6. Team Building And Communication Skills

As discussed above, strong communication skills are impeccable for mastering leadership skills. A nurse leader who knows how to instruct their teams and to explain their perspective across the board with clarity is the one who experiences accelerated career growth. Great nurse leaders use their communication skills to build a strong and trusting team. 

Team building is a fundamental trait of a leader because a true leader knows that there’s no such thing as “doing it all on your own.” A good nurse leader will identify the specialty of each member of their team and allocate tasks accordingly to increase efficiency. 

By promoting team building and open communication, nurse leaders pave the way for everyone to perform better, ultimately positively affecting patient outcomes and healthcare. 


Even though the nursing profession is noble and dynamic, competent nurses must take on leadership roles. You cannot become a nurse leader overnight because mastering particular traits and qualities requires mastering. 

Luckily, our above-compiled list of leadership skills needed to grow as a nurse leader will set you on the right path. You will excel in your career and bring about a worthwhile change in the institution.