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The Unique Nature Of Leadership And Management In Nursing

Shiv Ratan03 October 2018



While nursing is mostly associated with medicine and paramedics, like all other spheres of human networks, it too requires a whole set of management and leadership to ensure the smooth working of the workspace and its resources.



Unlike core business management where there is a differential system that clocks performances and accountability, management in nursing is more dire and flexible which has to be evolved and centred around the current needs and situations of the patients and workers. 


With a little to negligible difference between a nurse leader and a nurse manager, their core responsibilities are focused on the achievement of an equilibrium between patients and their caregivers. A good management is focused on the reliability of the routines, schedules, skills and accountability of the staff. Therefore, it is crucial to establish the core rules and duties of a nurse manager or leader. 



A good manager must understand the skill set of its staff and allot duties according to experience, time and past records.



They must establish a delegator system of answerability in which coordination and teamwork are crucial. They not only have to keep the staff occupied, involved and determined but also motivated and encouraged. 


A good nurse leader would have to jump in which a staff member may suffer trauma due to any situations and help them get back to their jobs.


Although it is not completely different from core management, nursing management is more people oriented and therefore, more qualitative measures and tools are applied to assess performance. A good manager has to set down the policies and schedules or shifts of its staff in the most flexible manner, keeping in mind their skill range and experiences. 


The orientation of new staff and how to encourage and motivate them to become an integral part of its cog work without any hindrances by helping them through the process is the sign of a good nursing leader. 


Since the human network basically has to run on expert coordination, a nurse leader also needs to fill in the gaps of communication between the staff to ensure that no one suffers due to this little space of error. 



Assuming the role of its visionary and leader, a nurse manager helps balance the see-saw of its company’s main goals and the staff it is supposed to handle. Considered a top requirement, it is what makes or breaks a hospital’s working and reputation.



One of the most crucial issues in any workplace is office politics and peer jealousy. In the field of nursing, it is no different. A good manager or leader needs to be politically dynamic at handing any conflicts amongst its staff and smoothen things over while analyzing the core reasons behind it. A good leader has to not only help cut off the tendrils of conflicts and issues but also create a positive impact of its workers for the future. 


They have to be goal orientated but also have the capability of taking its human resources in the right direction.


Like any other manager, the need to be exceptionally adept at motivating and also keeping a firm set of rules to govern performances is one of the most key requirements for a nurse manager. They have to ensure that although the work environment is kept healthy and proactive, they staff knows its main duties and do not waver from their main responsibilities. 


In the field of medicine, where every decision is life changing, a good leader or manager should be able to think on his feet and deliver in even the most difficult and adverse situations. This is a quality that is held in the highest esteem in the field of nursing since another person’s life may depend on it. Even out of the circle of medicinal decisions, a good leader has to know what is good for its staff and when someone has to be appreciated or reprimanded. The need to be bold, clear and firm goes without saying. 


This, however, does not mean that they can boss around with a superiority complex and condescending their staff. They need to be able to assert and help their peers and subordinates in the situations of need by guiding them through issues. 


Termed as a myriad of responsibilities that include patient care, quality check, daily routine and task assignment, follow up and ranking the performances, these ‘go-without-saying’ duties make up for almost 80 per cent of a leader’s job. 


They not only have to engage their patients and their staff but also ensure that the satisfaction quotient of both of these parties as well as the management is well met.


The overseeing of the hospital’s logistics and ensuring that the requirements of the staff’s needs, hospital’s needs and management’s wants are balanced. 



A good manager needs to be the ‘go-to’ person so that the line of authority and vision isn’t distorted along with the daily routines.



The only barometer of checking up if a nurse manager is doing well or not is staff retention and satisfaction. In a study conducted by John Azaare and Janet Gross in The British Journal of Learning, Vol 20, in June 2011, it was found after an interview of nurses in a hospital in Ghana, that they preferred a leader who was more proactive and leading as opposed to those nurse managers who used intimidation and lesser communication. 


The retention rate during a proactive leader was found to be more over the other who governed through condescension and aggression. 

 

All in all, it can be understood that since nursing is a more people orientated sphere, the techniques and management techniques, as well as the performance measuring tools, have to be more proactive, qualitative and assertive in nature as opposed to the quantitative and statistical governing in other business organizations. They not only have to have business skills at handling a huge body of people but also managing their needs, expectations and smooth running of their firm. 



A good nursing manager can become a good business manager but a business manager, unfortunately, cannot become a good nursing leader.





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