Nursing Leadership Characteristics

  1. Leadership requires personal mastery – Nurses demonstrate leadership when they show competence and mastery in the tasks they perform. Nurses are deemed competent by means of a license to practice nursing (NLN 2010).
  2. Leadership is about values – A nurse will lead by example by showing the importance of not only their values but the values of those they collaborate with and the ones they are caring for.
  3. Leadership is about service – Nurses exemplify a leader when they take the initiative to help their co-workers (teammates) to achieve a common goal to provide the best care to the patients they are over.
  4. Leadership is about people and relationships – Nurses lead by getting to know their co-workers, patients, and community to learn how to fulfill their needs.
  5. Leadership is contextual – Nurses who lead identify strengths and weaknesses of themselves and their co-workers. This provides the opportunity to let those who are experts in a field/task to take the spotlight, and an opportunity to teach those in your expertise.
  6. Leadership is about the management of meaning – Nurses lead by motivating those around them to find it within them the purpose to achieving an outcome.
  7. Leadership is about balance – Nurses demonstrate leadership by being able to balance work life and personal life so that neither interfere with the other in their ability to perform.
  8. Leadership is about continuous learning and improvement – Nurses who lead put in the time to better themselves at what they do through education, and taking opportunities to learn from others who are experts in their field.
  9. Leadership is about effective decision making – Nurses lead by prioritizing their time, resources and knowing when to ask for help.
  10. Leadership is a political process – Nurses lead by being able to identify differences between those they work with and patients they care for and be able to overcome the differences to achieve an a common goal.
  11. Leadership is about modeling – Nurses demonstrate leadership by coming together as a team sharing information and strategies to achieve a shared goal or outcome.
  12. Leadership is about integrity – Nurses lead by having a commitment to do the right thing regardless of the circumstances, being consistent through actions, and expectations.

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