Digitalization has changed many sectors. It has revolutionized how we think, speak and interact with others. The healthcare sector has also changed due to advancements in technology. The modern patient is a consumer, and healthcare institutions have to improve patient satisfaction to thrive in the 21st Century.
Furthermore, patients are more empowered, and they make vital decisions about themselves. Since healthcare is one of the most lucrative industries in America, healthcare providers are shifting focus.
Physicians are pursuing online MBA in Kenya to make their health institutions more profitable. The demographics are also changing. More than one-third of practicing nurses are females, while 40% of all nurses are African-Americans.
Not only that, but patient illnesses are also transforming. Experts suggest that diseases are becoming more complex. Furthermore, the majority of the patients are above 50. Therefore, there is an increase in chronic illnesses.
As the healthcare sector transforms, nurses will play a fundamental role in inpatient treatments. Nurses are no longer assistants of physicians. They are some of the central figures who create policy and implement it. The modern healthcare system needs nurse leaders to realize the vision of a transformed system. With a healthcare leadership degree, nurse leaders can act as full partners with physicians.
Why do we need leaders?
The healthcare sector is ever-evolving. New problems arise every day which need innovative solutions. Without leadership, healthcare systems can not successfully provide quality healthcare to patients.
Leadership in nursing can improve performance, drive, and patient engagement. Nursing leadership also improves patient outcomes and reduces medical errors. It improves patient safety and increases staff retention rates.
The Institute of Medicine links effective nurse leadership with an efficient healthcare system. Therefore, nurses should actively participate in healthcare. They can make healthcare safer and improve patient outcomes.
Who is a nurse leader?
According to the ANA Leadership Institute, a nurse leader is a nurse who wants to excel in a career path. They also represent the interests of nurses and want to refine their skills to improve the industry.
Nurse leadership must support, inspire and encourage nurses to perform well. These nurses are also experts in care delivery systems and can work with people from different disciplines. They are excellent patient advocates who are aware of the regulatory frameworks and policies.
However, nurse leaders have to work at every level to make significant changes to the sector. Not only do they need changes on the front lines, but they must also make changes to the curriculum. Research suggests that middle management leaders can make a positive impact on the success of healthcare institutions. It will prepare nurses for the future of nursing and meet patient and community needs.
What do nurse leaders do?
Nurse leaders have to take charge of everything and solve everyday issues. They are responsible for improving patient safety and troubleshooting budget constraints.
Nurses also have to analyze reports and focus on their teammates. They must manage people and everyday processes to develop the functional models of care. Nurses should also become more active in policymaking. Doing so will help make healthcare patient-centered and improve the quality of care.
What are the necessary skills for nurse leaders?
According to experts, health leadership is all about empathy, curiosity, and the willingness to put the customer first. All these skills are necessary for effective leadership.
- Empathy: Simply put, understanding is the ability to put oneself in the shoes of another. It can help others feel that they are understood. Today leaders should focus on people to work well with others. Therefore, medical professionals must look beyond traditional management strategies. Research indicates that workplace empathy can improve job performance. Nurses can help others when they feel that they are suffering from burnout. Therefore, nurses must be vigilant and identify signs of stress. They must also teach others how to listen and cultivate compassion in their lives.
- Communication: A modern leader must communicate well with others. They should be experts at using different mediums and modes of communication. A true leader knows when an email can suffice instead of a time taking the meeting. Since nurses are always hard-pressed for time, they must resolve all issues expeditiously. Furthermore, leaders have to coach and mentor employees, and doing so needs communication skills.
- Put the customer first: The healthcare industry is a fast-paced world. All practitioners have to make decisions and think on their feet. But, they must remember to make these decisions after thinking them through. However, healthcare professionals must always put their customers first.
However, implementing these skills alone is not enough. With some customer feedback, nurses can further improve the healthcare system and identify areas for improvement.
Front line nurses are the ones who can make the most difference in healthcare. They can design new models of care and improve efficiency and patient safety.
However, to tap into that potential, the healthcare sector will have to change the workplace culture. To upgrade the competency of nurses, many foundations have introduced integrated leadership programs. For example, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation funds the Integrated Nurse Leadership Program. The program offers technical assistance to nurses and helps them become successful leaders.
While the healthcare sector needs nurse leaders, students must also learn how to become leaders. Experts suggest that the best time to learn leadership skills is as early as possible. Therefore, nurse educators must educate their leaders about effective leadership. Many schools have created programs for health students to play an active role in community health.
With the enactment of the ACA, the American healthcare system is on the brink of a transformation. But, without the right leadership, this is not possible. Therefore, nurses and nurse leaders from all sectors have to make a collective effort to improve the health care system. With proper training and mentorship, nurses can develop partnerships to foster lasting relationships with other medical professionals.