5 Skills to Nurture in the Next Generation of Nurse Leaders

June 6, 2024
June 6, 2024

Promotion to a nurse leadership role introduces a new world of responsibilities. As the link between healthcare administrators and bedside nursing staff, these leadership positions require those who can think creatively to improve patient outcomes and ensure safety and quality of care. Successful leadership development in nursing requires focusing on five core competency skills that are foundational to new nurse leaders.

1. Ethical Leadership

Ethical nurse leaders portray the moral principles that guide the nursing profession—autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, justice, fidelity, and veracity. They also expect the principles to be upheld amongst their fellow leadership partners and the staff they guide. A focus on ethics in leadership development will promote patient-centered care and support a culture of accountability. The organization's mission and vision should also align with ethical leadership. Professionalism in nursing leadership sets the standard for high-quality, cost-effective care and fosters higher staff and patient satisfaction rates. Healthcare driven by competent leaders holds everyone involved to high moral, legal, and professional standards while improving healthcare compliance.

2. Leadership Vision

Nurse leaders are deeply engaged in the healthcare system's strategic vision and decision-making in all aspects of healthcare compliance. This engagement and skill development can assist them in becoming competent in innovative problem-solving with issues like finances, staffing, and workflows. Many nurse leaders come to the position without clear guidance on making daily managerial decisions with the overall strategic vision in mind. Understanding the overall vision helps leaders direct patient care and staffing decisions toward achieving specific organizational goals. Nurturing this focus in leadership development training improves productivity, patient outcomes, and financial goals.

3. Creative Thinking

Leadership development should foster innovative problem-solving among nurse leaders so they can approach financial, staffing, technology, and other managerial issues creatively. Encouraging staff to think critically through problems creates a culture of transformation. Nurse leaders who can implement critical and creative thinking also support nurses in leading specific quality improvement projects. These projects allow nurses to plan,  implement, and evaluate evidence-based interventions to improve patient care. Growing and supporting innovative solutions improves healthcare compliance and patient and staff satisfaction.

4. Team Building

Effective communication and relationship building in new nurse leaders will bolster staff cooperation in accomplishing healthcare compliance goals. Helping these leaders develop diverse and effective communication strategies, such as active listening, asking open-ended questions, and using inclusive language, promotes staff and healthcare leadership engagement. The goal is to build trusting, cohesive relationships to create effective and productive teams. Enhanced communication identifies and removes barriers to strategic objectives, helping all involved reach the organization's vision.

5. Fiscal Leadership Development

Financial leadership development is an area where many new nurse leaders need support. Understanding the concepts of economics, finance, and budgeting and how they apply to healthcare can be new for inexperienced leaders. Realizing the bottom lines of reimbursement, staffing costs, operating budgets, and trends are essential competencies for new leaders. Providing professional development to make sound financial decisions aligned with the healthcare system goals reduces waste and improves compliance.

Nurturing and supporting the next generation of nurse leaders through focused leadership development is vital to the success of an entire healthcare organization. Supporting the growth of innovative problem-solvers who can make decisions with the financial bottom line in mind is critical to upholding strategic visions. Continually improving upon communication and relationship building with ethically-focused leaders can increase patient and staff satisfaction while maintaining optimal healthcare compliance. The multiple options from Healthstream’s leadership and development programs aim to provide future nurse leaders with comprehensive learning opportunities to drive healthcare in the right direction. 



ANA Nursing Resources Hub. (2023, September 12). Financial management skills for nurse managers. American Nurses Association. https://www.nursingworld.org/content-hub/resources/nursing-leadership/nursing-financial-management/
Ayan, G., & Baykal, Ü. (2023). Ethical leadership in nursing management. Journal of Education and Research in Nursing, 20(3), 292-296.  https://jag.journalagent.com/jern/pdfs/JERN_20_3_292_296.pdf
Hughes, R., Meadows, M. T., & Begley, R. (2022). AONL nurse leader competencies: Core competencies for nurse leadership. AONL, 20(5), 437-443. https://www.nurseleader.com/article/S1541-4612(22)00194-X/fulltext 
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