Nursing leadership is a challenging task that requires an individual is equipped with the right skills and able to govern make decisional support over a group of nurses. Just like any other place, in medical practice, every decision is followed by some significant consequences and these factors guide an individual to make the right decision. Leadership in nursing is all about coordinating the responsibilities of a group of nurses and managing their productivity in the medical practice. As leaders, some problems in the working places can be controlled by ensuring that every member of the team is working effectively based on the provided tasks and responsibilities. Critical and nursing care are kind of responsibilities where errors are not embraced and individual workers should maximise their potentials to perform their best (Mason-Whitehead, 2008).
Education and mentorship are some of the key points that should be focused on in developing good leadership in the nursing fraternity. The management of medical centres should arrange capacity building programs and training session to equip some leadership skills to the proposed leaders or all the nurses in the health institutions. Despite instilling leadership skills at the employment level, the nursing curriculum has also included some modules that teach effective governance in medical service. Also, nursing and medical support are accompanied by several ethical issues that need to be followed keenly to avoid legal problems. For example, negligence might lead to loss of life for a patient, hence leading legal proceedings involving whoever was responsible. In this paper, the effective nursing leadership approaches will be discussed by focusing on the achievement of goals, capacity building and solving conflicts at the employee and/or patient level (MacPhee, & Bouthillette, 2008).
Leadership is all about achieving the set goals and objecting by moderating the functionality of the team members to fit the desired direction. As a leader, there are some key points that should be relied on to ensure that the team is able to meet the required objectives and perform excellently. One of the main principles is ensuring that all the members are committed to excellence. Firstly, every individual involved in the team should understand the rules and core targets of the groups. Perfect understanding of what the grouped is aiming at will make it clear to every person on the best parts of the responsibilities to focus on based on the time frame. For instance, a nursing team might create a goal by stating that every patient will be served with great honour and concern, hence meeting all their requests. The achievement of such a goal will be noticed if there will be no more complaints from the awards based on the quality of service (Kershaw, 2013).
Another main approach in nursing leadership is to measure the important things in the practice. It should be understood that the production level of an individual is based on their level of satisfaction. Therefore, the nurses and/or members of the team should be satisfied so that they can perform effectively. For example, the working conditions for the nursing can be improved to their expectations so that they can be happy and satisfied to practice in the certain environment. Also, working tools such as effective clothing can also improve the production ability of individuals. A nurse should also understand the responsibilities and be able to execute them effectively in the general practice (Milstead, & Furlong, 2006). It will have minimum effect if a leader does not have an idea of the practices that the members are accepted to perform. In this manner, a leader should be the role model at any point in the nursing practice, hence engaging in practical guidelines. The team members will be more convinced if the leaders take the first step in performing the expected performances (French, 2012).
Appreciating and embracing patients and families is another pillar in nursing practice because the views of those parties will determine how well the institution is performing. Moreover, families and patients are the main reason why the nurses are working and they ought to be respected at all moments. The patients and families will feel respected if they are involved in nursing decision making related to the pertained health problem. Also, the nurses should also show enough concern to these parties and they should not engage in activities that might be disrespectful to the patients and families. For instance, the nurses should understand even issues of answering phones calls might require some courtesy by using prompts and scripts to alert the concerned. The nursing care plan should be personalised, which makes the patients and families feel more supported (Ferguson-Paré, 2009). Those who receive such quality service will always come back or even recommend others to visit the medical centres.
Building accountability is yet another approach a nursing leader can use to ensure that the set goals and objectives are met. Individual nurse's scorecard should be monitored to check their progress, which gives the team leader an insight about the general performance level achieved. This can be achieved by meeting the team members in a specified time difference to make an evaluation of the personal achievements. Based on the developed achievement, a leader might also be able to identify the strength, weakness, threats and opportunities in the team (Persily, 2014). This will also be a good chance to understand the team effectively, which improves its chances of teamwork. Also, it will be very effective if the team leaders conducted effective communication within the group. This is because communication is one of the main pillars of teamwork because every member is entitled to information and understanding based on the set activities, improvements and changes (Diggins, 2013).
Recognition and rewarding motivate employees to continue performing best and delivering the best of their services. The nursing leader should develop a recognition platform or system that extract the best performer from the group and a significant reward is offered. The team members will perform in specific responsibilities to achieve the recognition as the best performers of the team. In that way, the goals and objectives will be met, hence improving the standards of the medical centres. Despite the fact that material things are offered, also word of mouth can be used to praise the workers based on their achievements and extra efforts. Some leadership and performance studies have found that employees will perform better if they are recognised and rewarded, which can be achieved as discussed above. If all the above approaches are used, the nursing team will achieve the set goals and objectives, hence improving the standards of the medical centres (Remus, & Kennedy, 2012).
The state of the patients determines whether they should be included in the team or not. If the medical condition does not support the patient being included in the nursing team, the guardian or family members can be included in the team. This is important because it enhances information flow and improves satisfaction levels. Involving patients in the nursing plans provides the nurses with basic ideas about the general expectations of the patients on how they should care. In that case, the nurses will make improvements of underperformed areas and equip themselves with the tools and resources allowing them to perform better (Winner, 2009). Failing to involve the patients or family members on the nursing plans might lead to dissatisfaction, which reduces the rating of the nurse’ performance. The scorecard of an employee is based on the views made towards the quality of service provided. It is thought that more complaints are made by patients who is not consulted based in their care (Derba, 2007).
A team is complete when every significant party of the process are included to ensure that there is the smooth working environment. Including the patients in the teamwork indicates that the important information about the nursing plan is provided back to the nurses, hence evaluating themselves on their performance. Therefore, personal improvements can be induced based on the views of patients and families. However, negative views should be used as stepping stones for better performance in the future. As a leader, it would be important if the team members are taught on how to use critics as a base for improvements. Therefore, methods to deals with their anger and pride would also be useful to enhance their performance and avoid conflicts that might arise between them and the patients. Better performance will always be experienced in cases where team leaders embrace communication and capacity building. Since the patients and/or the family members are the focus of the nursing practice, their views should be taken seriously. Therefore, expectations that may not be met by the capabilities of the nurses should be improved by embracing capacity building.
In nursing, conflicts are experienced often due to legal and ethical values that should be followed from time to time. A nursing team leader should learn ways on how to improve services to reduce the chances of conflicts. Moreover, if such conflicts are experienced, there are ways that can be used to create solutions and calm the situations. Firstly, the victim nurse should be taught on how to accommodate the situation to pave a way for an effective solution. Accepting that a mess has happened to give a room for making consultations on how the conflict can be solved between affected parties. It is the responsibility of the team leader to educate and inform the nurses in practice on how they should effectively handle such extreme cases (DasGupta, 2016).
Collaboration between the two parties is also an important to ensure that each part contributes to providing information that should be used in providing an effective solution. The mutual solution offered should not be developed based on information gathered from one party. Evading from a conflict after it has been experienced is not a good idea; however, it is good to deal with a situation and ensure that it will not be repeated. Therefore, committing to solve the conflict gives an individual the power to think through it and develop the best solution. Always, the nursing leader should act as a mediator to assist in solving a problem between a patient and a nurse. In this case, a leader would gain more experience on how to deal with future conflicts. Also, it will be a bit of experience on what nurses should avoid and understand the most sensitive approaches for a patient.
Communication is an important factor in solving conflicts and the nurses should learn how to make their responses harmless. A nurse should always eager to listen to the concerns of the patients to avoid cases of conflicts and disagreements. The team leaders should always equip the nurses with communication skills and it will be easy in solving arising conflicts. Apologetic language is also part of communication skills that a nurse should learn to embrace and practice. In any situations, a patient is not satisfied and there are chances of conflicts of arising, it will be good if apologies are made if possible. In that way, the patient will feel more comfortable and respected, hence managing the situations. Based on the above-mentioned approaches, team leaders will be able to enhance the process of solving conflicts.
Student nurses require a lot of support from the nursing team leaders because they need to understand the practicality of what they learn in classes. Therefore, the nursing leaders need to create a system that supports student nurses by attaching them to other experienced professionals whom they can look upon and consult. In this manner, they will achieve more and understand the basics of nursing hence being better nurses in future (Bottoroff, 2007). Their performances should also be followed to ensure that they do not make errors in their practice. A leader might decide to assign on of the nurses to a group of students or vice versa to monitor their movements and activities. At any point an individual is not performing well, the professional will come in and provide the appropriate advice. The students will also feel more equipped and assisted and develop themselves to become better professionals. Since the students are not much experienced, they will also have questions and concerns and the nurses in leadership should always be supportive and willing to provide appropriate answers (Wylie, 2016).
There are a set of characteristics that defines a successful team. Firstly, the group have definite goals, which keep them together and keeps them focused. For instance, the goals of a nursing team are to provide quality services to the patients and necessary support to the family members. Also, they can be focused on ensuring that the students in practices are well equipped and receive the best support. These objectives should be measurable, hence being able to comment on the performance levels. Being able to measure the objectives gives the team leaders understand how to equip the members with the necessary skills (Allender, & Rector, 2013).
A nursing team is made under a medical institution which has general and specific objectives. Therefore, the team focuses should match with the institution’s objectives. It is the responsibility of the team leader to develop goals that do not contradict that of the organisations. Based on these goals and objectives, it should be known on how the nurses will be evaluated and after how long. Nurses should also understand the basic expectations of the patients, hence being able to perform their duties on that lines. The team leaders should always remind the nurses on what is expected on them, hence boosting their performances. Moreover, well the definition of the objectives will be effective in fairly distributing the responsibilities among the members (Wylie, 2016).
Decision making is also very important and as a nursing team leader, the right channels that are accepted by all the members should be used. Conflicts might arise if decisions are done in a way where the nurses are not comfortable. Communicating freely as a nursing team will enhance social connections within the group, hence improving performance. A good team will also be able to solve conflicts effectively, without biased considerations. Any identified problems within the team should also be solved quickly to avoid effects that might follow. Support to one another, especially to those who are underperforming, is another factor that describes a successful team because they embrace capacity building to keep every member productive. Improving performance is a continuous task, which is done from time to time through team leadership support and consultations.
In conclusion, leadership in nursing is very important because it helps in improving the services offered to patients in the medical centres. The main focus the leaders should focus on is to improve the capacity of the nurses, which reduces chances of conflicts between the patients and caregivers within the institution. Also, supporting the student nurses effectively ensures that the future nursing services are improved in the future. Team leaders should also focus in making progressive improvements on the nursing services by embracing capacity building and correcting the perceived errors.
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