Leadership in Nursing

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Leadership in Nursing

Essential to quality patient care is the effective functioning of an interdisciplinary team. In most clinical settings, nurses have the closest relationship with patients. For that reason nurses need to take an active role in the interdisciplinary team, they are the front line providers, ensure communication between team members and the patient, and continually advocate for the patient and family. Nurses know how care should be delivered. They can ensure smooth handoffs as the patient transitions through the continuum. They often prevent medication errors, reduce infection rates and facilitate patient transitions from hospital to home. (Howell, 2013)

Nurses at every level take a leadership role through knowledge and caring. Demonstrating understanding of the person, health and environment helps to drive nursing practice and patient care. (AONE, 2010) Leadership is not just managing but facilitating. For example a nurse can facilitate the safe discharge of a CHF patient by collaborating with the dietician, the physical therapist, the pharmacist, and the home health nurse. The nurse can pull together the resources to provide education on diet, exercise, and fluid and medication management. This example not only demonstrates a nurse’s core knowledge base but her ability to be patient and family centered. Integrating the contributions of all team members helps to facilitate the patient journey. (AONE,2010).

Other strategies that enable the nurse to demonstrate leadership skills within the team include. 1. Assertive communication. 2. Active Listening. 3. Constructive criticism.

These strategies also align with the recommended strategies from IHI that a nurse can do to promote a culture of safety include: 1. Actively set a positive tone when working with a team. This is what I would consider “walking the

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