The role of nursing leaders in fostering innovation in medicine
Nursing leaders play an important role in shaping the future of healthcare organizations. By fostering a culture of continuous improvement and innovation, patients can receive the highest level of care possible.
Here are a few of the ways that nursing leaders can take charge of the future of medical care:
Be open to new ideas
Nursing leaders must stay on top of the most current medical care and treatment trends. This means attending conferences and seminars both online and in person and reading medical journals and papers. Listening to others and gaining their perspective and ideas is also very important. Networking with colleagues means you can also benefit from their knowledge of current medical topics.
By being open to new ideas, you will help prevent your medical facility from falling behind and patient care suffering as a result. Falling behind can mean that patients need to go to other facilities to receive their care and treatment, which can negatively affect the finances of your healthcare organization.
Share stories of accomplishments and failures with your team
When working in a team environment, it is important to share experiences so everyone can learn from one another. Accomplishments and finding great solutions should be celebrated, and the concepts taught to others. When things do not work out the way you would like, you need to be able to analyze and learn from those experiences. Why did things not work out? What could have been done differently to improve the outcome? Was a better solution found, or is this still a problem?
An emphasis needs to be put on the concept that everyone makes mistakes, and sometimes, no matter how well we think something through or try to make it work, it will not. The beauty of this is that we learn from the experience and it makes it easier to find a better solution. Great medical breakthroughs are the result of a lot of trial and error.
Demonstrate your commitment
Your job is to lead by example. This means holding yourself to a high standard and working hard alongside your team. At the same time, it is your job to delegate responsibilities. You need to show that you are pulling your weight as well. Make sure you are showing your work, so to speak. At meetings, be open about your progress on projects and your other responsibilities.
Be available to listen to your team
Medical facilities can be very big and complicated places. This is especially true if you are working for a healthcare organization that operates multiple hospitals and clinics. You need to rely on your team to help keep you informed about what is going on. Having regular group meetings and even creating a private Slack channel or another method of communication can be helpful in fostering a team dynamic and keeping up to date about the ongoing issues that need to be addressed.
Encourage additional education and training.
Medical facilities should consider how much they are investing in their employees. All too often, there is not enough time or money spent on training and encouraging medical staff to increase their knowledge. Hosting training classes and certification classes or paying employees to take these classes and certification courses at different locations can vastly benefit your medical organization.
Consider how hard it is in the modern labor market to fully staff any medical facility with highly qualified people in all departments. If you want to provide a higher standard of care by ensuring your workforce is well trained, then you will find that it is necessary to invest in education.
When nurses and other staff have more training and knowledge, it is easier for them to provide better care to more patients, which is important considering the extreme demand for healthcare.
Learn about and encourage innovative technology
With the extreme shortage of healthcare workers and a growing population of aging adults, medical facilities need to be open to using more innovative technology to improve their efficiency. Hospitals and clinics now largely rely on computer-based medical records and recording systems to allow for the most up-to-date patient records and health information.
Medical robots deliver medications and equipment throughout hospitals, which saves time for medical staff to take care of other important and detail-oriented duties.
Figuring out what technologies are best suited for a medical facility can take substantial planning as well as budgeting in the coming fiscal year.
Be a good mentor
As a nursing leader, you need to be a good mentor to nurses and medical staff with less experience. Showing others how to perform tasks and taking charge in your role will help your medical facility stay on top. Providing good mentorship will help retain your employees. Finding and keeping highly talented medical staff is challenging, so you want to provide a nurturing and caring environment.
Encouraging other experienced nurses to be mentors to younger or less experienced nurses is also important. This helps create a support network at your medical facility that will help reduce nurse burnout and fatigue.
Becoming a nursing leader
If you are an experienced nurse who wants to advance your career, nursing leadership roles are something to consider. Enrolling in a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree from a reputable institution, such as Spring Arbor University, is a great way to learn the necessary skills. A DNP degree is perfect for nurses who desire an administrative role at some point in their careers. This is by no means the only career option available. With a DNP degree, you have the credentials you need to take on many different nursing leadership roles, including teaching at the university level.
Where do nursing leaders work?
Highly qualified nursing leaders may work at any of the following locations and facility types, such as:
- Assisted living and nursing homes
- Correctional facilities
- Universities and colleges
- Medical supply and pharmaceutical companies
- Specialist clinics
- Major healthcare systems and organizations
- Health departments and government services
Skills needed to be a nursing leader
As an experienced nurse, you will have a lot of the skills you need to be a strong nursing leader; however, you may want to improve some skills so you can excel when you are in charge of others. Some of the most important skills to master include:
There is a great deal of written and spoken communication required to lead a team of medical professionals. You need to be able to explain matters clearly and concisely. A lot of communication is done via emails, online chat and video conferencing. Making sure you are comfortable speaking to larger groups is an excellent idea.
As a nursing leader, you will have a lot of different projects and matters to attend to. You must have a good sense of organization and have a system for keeping everything straight.
Staying organized will allow you to get more done in a shorter period without making costly or embarrassing mistakes.
Be a good listener and empathizer
Leaders need to have good listening skills so that those they manage know they are being considered and respected when they bring a matter to their attention. Finding some aspect you can empathize with is helpful when forming a connection with your team. Even if you do not agree with someone, it is still important to let them have their say and respond to them in a caring and polite manner.
Become more culturally aware
No matter where you live, there is a good chance that it is becoming more diverse than it used to be. It is important for nursing leaders to be aware of other cultures, customs and religious beliefs. Encouraging others at your medical facility to learn is critical to providing a high standard of care to every patient.
Get as much clinical and management experience as possible
The more experience you have, the more prepared you will be to lead others. At the same time, it is essential to consider that you can gain experience while earning your degree online. If you work full-time as a nurse, you can still earn your doctorate in your spare time.
Nursing leaders are in strong demand. The future of medicine relies on strong leadership at all levels. From working on the floor to administrative and teaching positions, nursing leaders have a lot of responsibility, but in turn, they experience a very rewarding and fulfilling role in medicine.
Now is a great time to advance your career and become a nursing leader and mentor.