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Leadership: Leading from the Middle

There are a lot of misperceptions about the role of nurses in regards to their need to be leaders – especially as it relates to patient safety and career development. ANA would like to quickly dispel some of those notions and show how leadership skills are vital across all levels of nursing – both to improve safety and effectiveness of nursing as well as to improve one's own career path.

First, leadership is management's concern.  Perhaps the most alarming misperception. No matter what type of nurse, your ability to communicate issues effectively, to lead through a crisis, to take charge of situations, to adapt effectively to change and retain one's ethical compass – these are leadership skills that transcend title and seniority. Those who deliver on these skills, regardless of "status", are more effective at creating safer work environments (for patients and nurses), directly improve patient care, and are also more likely to be promoted.

The second – that leadership skills are "soft skills" that, while important, take a back seat to other aspects of one's job. Well – it's not "either-or". It's hard to be effective and create a safer work environment if you are struggling to communicate through issues and don't have the correct approach to get your voice heard. You simply can't deliver safe and effective care if you're not being listened to or taken as seriously as needed.

Lastly, leadership skills are inherent. "People are just born leaders." Well – that's been proven untrue time and time again. Leadership skills are strategies one implements. Strategies are learned, and every nurse has the ability to develop and/or enhance their leadership acumen.

Upcoming Live Webinars

August 3 - How Nurses Can Use Data to Improve Quality of Care 
August 24 - Dealing with Fatigue: Strategies for Nurse Leaders
September 2 - Succession Planning for Nurses

Upcoming Workshop

The New Nurse Managers Workshop: Your Roadmap to Success
November 7-8 | Silver Spring, Maryland

See a full listing of the dozens of webinars and courses on leadership acumen from the Leadership Institute.