Every field has leaders. Some are leaders because of their titles or
because they are in charge of a company. Others are leaders because
they create positive changes in their industries. Regardless of why or
how people become leaders, they are important to the success of their
fields. The field of nursing is no exception. Nursing leaders are influential
to how nurses practice, as well as how they learn about nursing and the
What does it mean to be a leader in the field of nursing?
A nursing leader is someone who takes the initiative
to make positive changes for nurses and patients. He or she is also
often a teacher. That is, a nursing leader will want to educate other
nurses in how to make positive changes, and educate patients in how to
care for themselves. The focus of a leader in nursing is the care of
the patients, and what needs to be done to ensure patients get healthy.
This may mean innovating ways of communicating with patients, developing
new intervention techniques to provide care, or creating a method of
follow-up to help patients transition to being at home after a hospital
stay. A nursing leader doesn't have to necessarily make major changes
in the field, but he or she will do what is needed to provide the best
care for his or her patients.
How do nurses become leaders?
Usually nurses don't set out to become leaders
in the field. Instead, they practice nursing to the best of their
abilities and work to make positive changes for patients and other
nurses. The men and women who become leaders are the ones who
simply want to make things better for others through their efforts.
Many times they don't even expect to make big changes. But because
of their efforts, conditions improve for patients, nurses, and other
healthcare professionals. When that happens, others look to these
particular nurses for guidance, encouragement, and leadership. In
these instances, nurses become leaders because others give them the
title, and not because they seek it themselves.
How do nursing leaders affect nursing practice?
Nursing leaders can have a big impact on nursing practice.
Nurses who look up to them and admire them try to emulate them and their
nursing style, which influences how nurses practice. This usually takes
place on a smaller scale with only a few nurses changing their methods
here and there. However, nurses can also impact nursing practice on a
larger scale if they work to make changes in nursing practice. Some nurses
see a need for changes in the healthcare field, and they act as advocates
and activists to try and make those changes. This creates positive changes
for their patients, as well as for the nurses working with patients. In
many cases, these nurses become leaders because of the changes they make
in the nursing field.
Men and women become leaders in nursing for a variety of reasons, and as
leaders, they can affect a variety of areas. From education to techniques
to patient interaction, nursing leaders make the field of nursing better
for the patients and nurses. They don't usually try to become leaders in
nursing, but when they do, they work they do has positive effects that can
reach everyone who interacts with a nurse.