Transformational Leadership in Nursing

1 January 2017

Leadership In today’s healthcare system, effective leadership is essential to improving and reaching organizational outcomes. A leader is someone with the ability to influence others but, an effective leader uses positive strategies to inspire employees to work towards the same goal. Leadership in nursing requires a constant effort to motivate others to become part of the organizational transformation. This can be achieved using a transformational leadership style with a focus on communication, motivation, and empowerment.

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Transformational leadership has been successful in the health care industry due to the visionary approach and adaptability when faced with obstacles. Transformational leaders succeed regardless of restraining factors due to their ability to explore new ways to deliver results and find new approaches in managing resources in the ever-changing health care environment (Samuel, 2003). This type of leadership is inspirational, promotes employee development, uses individual consideration with followers, encourages follower creativity, and is process-focused (Tomey, 2009).

The transformational leader acts as a role model who is charismatic and demonstrates competency and integrity. Nursing leaders must possess these qualities in order to inspire employees to work together towards the common vision of the organization. Clear direction and strategy development is necessary to achieve the common goal. This cannot be completed without use of good communication from the nurse leader. Communicating effectively with staff is vital to being a good leader. Learning the best way to communicate with staff is necessary to guide the team towards the identified goal.

Delivering a well organized plan to the team and demonstrating confidence in the plan through their actions allows the staff to trust the nurse leader, builds a positive atmosphere and integrates the transformational leadership style into their practice. “By improving communication processes, for example through staff meetings, patient care activities, and team brief meetings, organizations can encourage innovation and creativity which, in turn, will promote job enlargement and enrichment (Curtis & O’Connell, 2011). Active listening is also an important part of communication and allows staff to voice concerns and ideas while the nurse leader listens to understand their true message. Listening to the concerns shows empathy and also builds trust, which is important when working together as a team. Allowing communication to flow evenly between team members and nurse leaders can also help decrease communication barriers. Developing a positive work environment through communicating effectively can impact the team and patient care.

If members of the nursing team feel their concerns are listened to and acted upon, they will feel more satisfied in their position. They will also be more likely to present ideas for improving patient care and be willing to work with the nurse leader and other team members to see their idea implemented. Nursing team members that are involved in the change process are also more motivated to work towards the nurse leader’s goal. There are many ways to motivate the nursing team to achieve the desired goal while increasing job satisfaction and patient care.

Acknowledging the importance of the team member’s skills and including them in problem solving can provide motivation to explore possible solutions to unit issues (Utley, Anderson & Atwell, 2011). Providing frequent feedback and praise for good teamwork or accomplishments can also be a motivator. The nurse leader can motivate through inspirational motivation. “Inspirational motivation involves behaving in ways that motivate others, generate enthusiasm, and challenge people (Utley, Anderson & Atwell, 2011). Employee recognition or incentive programs can be implemented to generate enthusiasm and keep the team motivated also. Transformational leaders are known for their motivation and can prevent self-defeating behaviors, destructive emotions, procrastination and avoidance of problems (Samuel, 2003). Motivating the nursing team to assist in problem-solving or forming a team to identify patient care issues can also promote empowerment. Empowering the nursing team allows them to feel important and become vested in the change process.

Transformational leaders value employee contributions, promote quality work performance and job satisfaction (Utley, Anderson & Atwell, 2011). Empowering employees allows them to take responsibility and feel that they play an important role in accomplishing the set goal. This increases job enrichment and therefore affects job satisfaction. Another way to empower the nursing staff is to assist them in developing their own leadership skills. Nurse managers should also consider developing junior staff’s leadership skills, particularly in situations where there are nursing shortages or where nurses are reluctant to undertake leadership roles. Leadership in nursing is critical to ensuring consistent standards across all aspects of care and building an environment for excellence (Curtis & O’Connell, 2011). ” A good transformational leader will continue to motivate and communicate while empowering staff to work towards change.

These techniques create a positive work environment that can be felt throughout the unit. Using a transformational leadership style in health care promotes an enthusiastic, optimistic, goal oriented work environment. The leader must use well developed communication skills, motivational techniques, and empowerment to move their team towards achieving the set goal. This includes finding ways to overcome obstacles and continuing to motivate during times when the goal does not seem within reach.

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