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Discuss the nurse leader role.  What qualities and skills provide the foundation

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Discuss the nurse leader role.  What qualities and skills provide the foundation for the development of an individual aspiring to be a nurse leader? Explain how nurses at all levels of professional practice, including working shifts on the nursing floor, implement leadership and management strategies in their roles. Provide specific examples to support your thinking.
Also include discussion on where power resides in the relationship between leaders and followers, and how that power is used by both parties to promote their collective goals
Post your response and respond to at least three (3) other student’s posts. To be considered for maximum point value, refer to the discussion rubric.
Discussion: Defining Nursing Leadership/Followership
Leadership in nursing, similarly to leadership in basic life, takes many roles. Those in roles not designated as leadership roles still play a vital role in leadership. Basic understanding of this can be seen in a family setting. Perhaps there are two parents with different roles, but they both have clear designated leadership responsibilities. One provides income and decides how that income is spent and the other leads the children in their responsibilities. There are two children, and, perhaps, the older child leads the other in their responsibilities designated by the parent. That child sets an example and initiates completion of tasks. The second child does not appear to play an obvious leadership role, but, perhaps, that child teaches those tasks to friends or leads the completion of a task in class. Similarly modeled, there are designated leaders in nursing, but there are also leadership aspects involved in following, and those who do not appear to play a leadership role probably still lead in a less obvious way.
Nursing hierarchy of leaderships falls into a very clear pyramid of roles. The first being the CNO followed by the director of nursing. These roles revolve around very policy driven leadership. They send mandates for lower levels to implement. Qualities and skills in these position may look very different from individual to individual, but generally involve extensive experience and competency in their field.  These skills will be more managerial and supervisory in nature. The next level will include roles of nurse managers and educators which are also involved with managerial skills, but should also include very strong communication and conflict resolution skills. These roles implement direction and assistance in nursing care.  They largely organize the staff nurses.  Staff nursing, which includes RN and LPN roles, will typically take the role of action and implementation. While they do not have an obvious leadership title, their leadership is boundless. They lead individual patients in their care. The lead unlicensed assistive personal in patient care. All of these roles play a vital part in the system of patient care. Qualities that all of these roles will have in common are problem solving skills, attention to detail, communication, caring, etc. The idea of a specific skill set to designate a role is a newer concept. Different facilities began designating required competencies to defend the ability to perform a job. This concept was extremely useful in designing roles and programs to prepare those roles. Leadership competencies are being greatly built up in current time. “Leadership-competency development cannot be left to a handful of individuals on campus; it is the responsibility of everyone in higher education to ensure college graduates are also society’s leaders” (Seemiller, 2016).
To say that power resides in one role would be incorrect. Without all roles playing their part, the other roles would fall apart. It is a common fallacy that the most power resides with the leader. The most power resides within the first follower. Without someone to take the first step at implementing the leaders’ initiatives, the system would crumble. This is why leadership is being stressed in educational programs. There are so many types of leadership, infinite roles where leadership can be implemented, and countless opportunities to demonstrate leadership. The power resides in the ability for a collective group to make change and achieve the goals/missions of that group.
2.Leading could seemingly come natural to some individuals, however, taking the time to learn what it takes to be a truly effective leader can make a huge difference is how a team functions. Specifically, for a team in the healthcare setting, certain qualities are significantly important to possess. By considering human behavior, tendencies, and psychological processes we can understand these qualities and how they are advantageous for a nurse leader to possess. Many researchers have conducted studies and collected data to reach conclusions on how human attributes influence leading and following. Useful tools to look at are Gardner’s Tasks of Leading/Managing Applied to Practice, Management, and Executive Positions, as well as Bleich’s Tasks of Followership (Yoder-Wise, 2018). Throughout reviewing the research, such as the ones mentioned, many similar characteristics are seen to be valuable to both leader and follower. For example, collaboration, accountability, advocating for what is right, eliminating passiveness, always focusing on the goal, while learning and growing, individually and as a whole are all at the core of many definitions presented through research. There is so much that plays into the team dynamic, every situation is unique and there is usually more than one right way to do things, so with all of that being said it is very interesting to consider what is to come as one aspires to be a nurse leader. Specific examples that my brain wanders to has to do with emotional intelligence. Bluepoint Leadership Development (2013) debriefs emotional intelligence and its impact on leadership and most of what was discussed elicited a heavy train of thought for me! Ever since I had the opportunity to learn what emotional intelligence was, I have reflected on it throughout my day-to-day life. Thinking about it within the profession of nursing, I see clearly how it plays a role. Gregg Thompson talks about how great leaders can harness the power of emotions, both within themselves and when working with others and their emotions. In the medical field, emotions can be seen left and right. You have staff interacting (like any other profession), but then you have the weight of dealing with other human lives. This will always elicit emotional responses. It’s no wonder a leader would need to possess a great amount of emotional intelligence in order to deliver the highest level of quality of patient care and manage their own human feelings. Also related to emotional intelligence, Thompson discusses how being a positive influence on those whom you are working with and providing care for is so important. Positive energy can fill a room, even the biggest ER’s. Filling a room with positivity results in many beneficial outcomes in any profession. Emotional intelligence relates to complicated mental processes that involve various structures in the brain, like the amygdala, insular cortex, ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), which are key nodes of functional brain networks that are consistently linked with emotional experience (Hall et al. 2018, Killgore et al. 2017). So in order to reach a point within one’s self, your brain needs to be trained through experiences and challenges. A high level of emotional intelligence is not easily attained, but it is, for me personally, the most important quality to practice when working towards leadership.

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