The Must Haves For Effective Leadership Training For Your Clinical Staff

December 19, 2022
December 19, 2022

Even before the pandemic and its rather disastrous effects on staffing, there was a definite need for effective leadership training for clinical staff. In the wake of the pandemic, hospitals are emerging somewhat battered. Most are in significantly worse financial shape than before the pandemic and most are also struggling with higher turnover rates, early retirements and a now urgent need to develop managerial skills in new nurse leaders. And, of course, the cost of turnover in leadership positions is high – in dollars and cents and in the loss of institutional knowledge.


Nurse Leadership – What It Means

Nurses are expected to be leaders early in their practice. They will lead and advocate for patient care and they will be expected to demonstrate leadership when caring for their patients, when structuring their own career paths and when helping to onboard newer nurses. However; they may also choose a career path that includes a formal leadership position and that will mean taking steps to ensure that they develop their leadership skills.

While leadership styles may tend to vary, there are some skills that nurses in leadership roles need in order to successfully manage the kinds of teams that provide the best in patient care. Nurses need to develop both soft and hard skills if they wish to move into leadership roles. Those skills include: 

  • Decision Making: Nurse leaders will make dozens of decisions each day. It is important to develop critical thinking skills and clinical judgement to drive towards the best patient care. Those skills are also important drivers in the development and implementation of management practices that can make a unit or department run efficiently.
  • Conflict Resolution: This is an important skill as conflicts are inevitable. Resolving conflicts regarding patient care, conflicts between team members and other departments and conflicts between patients and staff is a skill that nurse leaders will use over and over.
  • Change Management: Nurse leaders must be able to adapt to the inevitable change that is part of healthcare. They must also be able to model this adaptability for their teams and share strategies that will help their direct reports understand and embrace change when it inevitably happens.
  • Teamwork: Nurse leaders need to demonstrate strong teamwork skills. They need to be able to demonstrate how to provide patient care within the framework of a team. They need to communicate with and assist other team members, including team members from other departments and disciplines.
  • Communication: This is perhaps one of the most essential skills for nurse leaders. Nurses are educators – they provide education for patients and family members and they are also educators for their fellow nurses through preceptor and leadership roles. In addition, they need to be skilled at communicating the latest clinical information and policy changes.
  • Mentorship: Nurses will likely mentor newer nurses for the entirety of their careers in either formal or informal ways.
  • Lifelong Learning: Nurses need to be lifelong learners and this is even more true for nurse leaders as they continue their educational journeys and model that behavior for the nurses that work with and for them.


Preparing Nurses for Leadership Roles

Healthcare organizations need to ask themselves if they are doing everything possible to identify potential leaders in their organizations and then invest in their development. HealthStream’s Leadership Development Solutions can help you develop new leaders and support your existing leadership team.

Good solutions start with assessments which is precisely how this solution starts. The assessment process will give credit for subjects that have already been mastered and then create a customized education plan that focuses precisely on the knowledge gaps identified by the assessment.

HealthStream’s Leadership Development Solutions are powered by rich content in which senior leaders can be confident. The Frontline Nurse Leader content consists of 27 lessons that are organized into 8 modules. It is based on the American Organization of Nurse Executives’ (AONE) Certified Nurse Manager and Leader (CNML) competencies. Talent Tracks includes an assessment that will help establish a personalized learning plan that will include courses curated from more than 140 course titles. Talent Tracks also includes pre-defined curriculums on the most relevant topics – all specific to the unique requirements of the healthcare environment. The content is designed to be engaging and includes multiple instructional design methods.