What makes a good leader?

  1. ok i'm new but i'm wondering what makes a nurse a good leader ... i'm trying to use the response to learn those skill and traits that i need. I'm trying to get the support of my nursing staff, coworkers and pcas so we work together as a team AND still get done orders from up top.
  2. Visit Inori profile page

    About Inori, ASN, BSN

    Joined: Apr '12; Posts: 404; Likes: 131
    Future ER / Peds Nurse; from US
    Specialty: 3 year(s) of experience in ambulatory care


  3. by   mariebailey
    A good leader sees the good in their followers, and a good leader brings out the best in their followers. When my Nurse Manager sees me as capable, competent, and responsible, that's how I'll behave. I have very limited experience supervising, but I try to empower people and provide positive reinforcement at every available opportunity.
  4. by   IloveNursing2214
    Motivate , empower and challenge your staff . Be a good listener and communicator and reinforce team work . This are all good qualities of a transformational leader
  5. by   Inori
    Ok how exactly does one motivate, empower staff ? Can I have a few examples I am talking about pca and uh nursing. I am running into anger, resistance and hostility when I delegate out stuff. I'm new and they are use to working and reporting to the more mature nurses. Anyways how can I win over staff ... I got along w em fine until They had to report to me.
  6. by   mariebailey
    Quote from Inori
    Ok how exactly does one motivate, empower staff ? Can I have a few examples I am talking about pca and uh nursing. I am running into anger, resistance and hostility when I delegate out stuff. I'm new and they are use to working and reporting to the more mature nurses. Anyways how can I win over staff ... I got along w em fine until They had to report to me.
    Tell them what they are doing right. Be positive & professional. Thank them when it is appropriate. Don't take it personally either. It takes a while for people to accept a new leader. I was the team leader in my department in my last position, and I supervised admin staff. It was really hard b/c many of the nurses had much more experience than me. I found that it was very important to give them credit for their experience and acknowledge that they had things I could learn from them. The more humble I was, the more willing they were to listen to me.
  7. by   jadelpn
    First off, it is difficult to delegate when one doesn't do it/hasn't done it themselves. Meaning, get to know how your unit runs, be willing to pitch in a hand in the bedside care, listen when your staff tells you something doesn't work. Be present at report, and know who you have on the floor for patients, and what their needs are.

    Be invested, be involved. Get to know the strengths of your staff. If 2 PCA's work well together, then they can go down the line of patients together--setting up for breakfast, showering patients, etc. And be crystal clear that they are to set up, wash up, vitals, FBS, peri care, turn and repo. If they are not doing that, then you need to deal with that. Maybe one group can have a day where they just do stocking and such, so that each group gets a day that is a "break.

    As far as your nurses, Make a plan/assignment according to strengths of your nurses. Ask your whole staff what they would like to see happen on the floor and how the floor should be run. Play to the strengths of your nurses. Buddy up nurses so that everyone gets a lunch, a break. Ask if they need to you to help.

    Morale goes in the toilet if the supervisor is a degreed nurse who has never done bedside care, or hasn't in years, comes out of an office to delegate, and lets their staff run around like crazy people trying to get it all right and on time, then coming out of said office, only to reprimand on what is not being done.

    Nurses get stressed when they are overwhelmed. Too much to do with too little time. More patients than they can care for appropriately. Make yourself available for morning med pass. Help if there's lots of admissions. And ramp up your per diem staff that can be called in a pinch.

    And if one of your senior nurses tells you that something is not going to work well, then I would believe them, and ask for input on what should be done to correct it. Because one can have a BSN/MSN/PHD and a thousand credentials and letters after their name, and still have no clue how to delegate patients/work load appropriately. That comes from actually working in the trenches. And then it doesn't matter if you are 29 or 49 years old. Advocate for more staffing if you need it. In this day and age of "customer service" it adds a layer of care that can add to the feeling of being overwhelmed. Another thought is to have your most senior nurses take a charge role that they do the paperwork, call the docs, cover for lunches, and don't take a specific assignment. BUT if you are going to do that, make sure there's enough nurses taking assignments so that the ratios don't increase.

    Disrespect/"not listening" however you want to describe it has more to do with setting staff up to fail, unrealistic expectations, and overwhelming work loads than age. It has everything to do with experience. And if you are a new nurse, you need to put on a pair of scrubs and engage yourself if your floor.
  8. by   Inori
    @ mariebailey thank you for your specific examples
    @jadelpn thank you for your many advices, yes i'm in the trenches so to speak though i do make sure i take a ligther share of the workload on days i'm assigned as leader as it seems the duties are what you described as charge nurse .... otherwise there's no time to do my job, monitor others, deal with admin, doctors and do patient care.

    oh man this leadership thing is stressful!! older and experienced folks aren't taking it too well that they are reporting to newbie who is just as lost on how one should be leading. Thanks everyone i will keep all this in mind and learn faster if there's such a thing
  9. by   heelhook80
    Of all my friends the one I turn to most for advice is a friend of mine who over the past 6 years has been promoted three times and is pretty much set for a high level executive position in a fortune 500 company and this is what he tells me the #1 success and leadership quality is the ability to be a strong positive influence for others.

    Think about it, what makes you want to work hard? What inspires you? Odds are it is a great leader, an influential leader, one who is positive, excited, intelligent, compliments you.

    In my mind as a floor nurse that also has a business degree, I think that when I hand over my patient to the next shift they think "wow he was on the ball, positive, and went the extra mile for these people". If I can get the next shift or charge nurse to think that, I feel that I was then a direct positive influence, a motivator.
  10. by   Inori
    Thanks I will take all of these excellent suggestions and apply it. Everyday is a learning experience where I realize that i could have done X better or been more careful about what I say. Leading is alot harder than I imagined as one everyone seems to think you would know the answer to things where i'm thinking now how should I know.
  11. by   ArrowRN
    One thing I like about good leaders are the ones who do not go about just giving orders, try listening instead of talking. You already know what you need them to do, just ask them how do they think this or that should be done. That way the more mature nurse will feel like you respect their experience. Use their opinions to guide them to what they need to do, that way it will seem like their idea and you get the work done as a team. Its hard because at the same time you don't what the staff to overrun you. Give your opinion and sometimes try things their way then you can evaluate after, they might say hey you know your idea was much better. I think leaders who listen are the best.