In light of the fact that effective nurse leadership has been positioned in contemporary health care settings as a fundamental factor in the attainment of optimum patient outcomes and workplace enhancement (Hutchinson & Jackson, 2013), the present paper discusses a multiplicity of issues related to leadership style and leadership attributes for graduate-level nurses.
From the results of the exercise, it is evident that I demonstrate both participative and delegative leadership characteristics, implying that I am a participative and delegative leader. Participative leadership not only encourages and values feedback from staff at all levels in the organization but also reinforces visibility, accessibility and commitment to effective communication, hence encouraging and motivating members to be more effective in the care continuum (Tomey, 2009). Delegative leadership, on the other hand, not only encourages group or staff members to contribute and make decisions, but also provides learning opportunities as well as exposure to group members who have the needed skills to work in diverse care environments and the confidence required to implement decisions (Saccomano & Pinto-Zipp, 2011).
These attributes fit into my beliefs about the mentioned leadership styles as I am of the opinion that listening to others and acting on their proposals and suggestions can only bring more accurate and effective decisions, which translate to enhanced quality of care for patients. I also firmly believe that being visible and accessible to staff members is critical in heightening job satisfaction levels, enhancing nurse productivity, and reducing turnover. Additionally, it is my firm belief that delegating some activities to knowledgeable and responsible group members is the first step towards instilling confidence as well as facilitating participation and empowerment among members. Such an orientation, in my view, can only enhance the productivity and performance of group members while ensuring optimal care provision for patients.
Graduate-level nurses need to be perceived as “knowledgeable risk-takers who [are] guided by an articulated philosophy in doing the daily operations and [are] strong advocates for nursing and supportive of staff” (Tomey, 2009 p. 16). This author argues that some of the most important attributes needed for graduate-level nurses include strong advocacy skills, patience, effective supervision and guidance skills, participation and empowerment, autonomy, ability to recognize the contributions of others, open management styles, and an innovative mindset. Graduate-level nurses need to have the capacity to not only delegate tasks to other group or staff members while remaining accountable for the task (Saccomano & Pinto-Zipp, 2011) but also encourage group members to share their specialized knowledge and expertise for the good of the group (Tomey, 2009).
Personal leadership characteristics are essential in any leadership endeavor. Upon much reflection, I contend that my personal leadership attributes include fairness, consistency, commitment, role modeling, service mentality, openness, passion, and personal attention. Additionally, I demonstrate the capacity to think about the needs of others before my own, and also to assist others to grow and maximize their full potential. I am open to suggestions and strive to create space for others to express their concerns, not to mention that I have the capacity to motivate other people in the achievement of identified goals or targets.
Overall, this paper has illuminated and discussed several issues related to my leadership style, beliefs about my leadership style, attributes of leadership that may be needed for graduate-level nurses, as well as personal leadership attributes that may be of immense importance in my graduate nursing role. Indeed, as acknowledged by Smirich (1983) cited extensively in Hutchinson and Jackson (2013), “at the core of much theorizing on leadership has been an interest in understanding the characteristics of successful leaders and their capacity to influence organizational culture and follower behavior” (p. 11).
Hutchinson, M., & Jackson, D. (2013). Transformational leadership in nursing: Towards a more critical interpretation. Nursing Inquiry, 20(1), 11-22.
Saccomano, S.J., & Pinto-Zipp, G. (2011). Registered nurse leadership style and confidence in the delegation. Journal of Nursing Management, 19(4), 522-533.
Tomey, A.M. (2009). Nursing leadership and management effects work environments. Journal of Nursing Management, 17(1), 15-25.