7 Leadership Styles in Nursing

Nurses with a Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) are expected to assume leadership roles and ensure that nursing staff members use evidence-based practice strategies to deliver the best patient care possible. Studies demonstrate that medical facilities experience improvements in patient satisfaction, fewer medical complications, and better patient safety outcomes when nurses are given the proper leadership.

No matter where care is delivered, nursing leadership is crucial (e g. , clinics or inpatient units, long-term care facilities, or homes for elderly people), particularly for those who are in close contact with patients for extended periods of time, according to research published in “Importance of Leadership Style Towards Quality of Care Measures in Healthcare Settings: A Systematic Review.” ”.

Finding a DNP curriculum that emphasizes nursing leadership styles, like Duquesne University’s online DNP program, is crucial for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) who are thinking about a career as a DNP-prepared nurse. Leadership coursework and residencies are completed by DNP students at Duquesne University in conjunction with a clinical or executive doctoral track.

Leadership Styles – Leadership | Lecturio Nursing

What are the types of leadership styles in nursing?

The following are the main categories of nursing leadership styles:

This kind of leader, also known as an authoritarian one, is highly disciplined, aware of their goals and what they must do to achieve them. Autocratic leaders dictate all policies and directives to other staff members and nurses. They typically dont ask for input from others.

When giving directions in an emergency, this leadership style performs best because a strong voice is required. Additionally, it can be helpful when the boss needs to make sure that laws or regulations are strictly followed. However, it does not effectively promote problem-solving, teamwork, or the growth of trust within a team.

This kind of leader provides little guidance and adopts a detached style. They usually don’t give others specific instructions or direction and let the group decide how to handle situations. Having said that, they usually work to build teams that they are confident will do a good job at their jobs. Laissez-faire leaders typically permit nurses to conduct their work however they see fit. They are in charge of making their own decisions, setting their own objectives, and resolving any problems that may arise while they are at work.

When the staff is highly educated, skilled, and motivated on their own, this leadership style performs best. In situations where the other nurses or staff members are inexperienced or unable to effectively manage their time, a laissez-faire leadership style doesn’t work well.

A democratic nursing leader solicits input from their team and promotes dialogue. They take care to protect their position as the decision-maker, consider other people’s viewpoints, and foster a sense of teamwork. Their main priorities are working cooperatively and having success as a team.

Building relationships based on responsibility and trust is a strength of this nursing leadership style. It also functions well when a leader places a strong emphasis on process improvement. It can be difficult to get input from other team members when a decision must be made quickly, which can be problematic.

This kind of nursing leader, also referred to as one with a visionary leadership style, is concerned with motivating team members to give their all in order to accomplish a shared goal. This leadership style works well in healthcare facilities where significant changes are required and is beneficial for developing productive and engaged teams. It is somewhat less efficient in settings where a nurse leader is in charge of daily decision-making for particular problems.

As it focuses on the requirements of individual team members and makes sure they have the knowledge and resources they need to accomplish both their individual and group goals, this type of nursing leadership style has been gaining popularity. This leader is very committed to providing the best care possible for the patients within the healthcare facility. This kind of leader has excellent active listening abilities, the power to influence others, empathy, and is excellent at fostering a sense of community. One of the most effective leadership philosophies for fostering trust

When a leader has a diverse team that is charged with a variety of duties, this leadership style excels. When everyone in the group must adhere to a single set of instructions, it is less ideal.

This type of leadership style is adaptable, and the nurse leader changes it as necessary to meet the needs of the organization. When using situation leadership, the nurse leader must assess the situation within the organization to choose the best course of action. Nurse leaders are free to change their management approaches as needed. Situational leaders frequently stray from the organization’s long-term strategies and goals, which is its main flaw.

This leadership approach places a strong emphasis on the advancement of the nursing team and staff. They hope to assist the team members in identifying their strengths and weaknesses and in creating goals that will aid in their professional development. This is an excellent leadership approach for encouraging team members to advance their careers and it produces fruitful long-term outcomes for the company. The primary disadvantages of this leadership approach are that it can be slow to begin and that team members must be open to receiving feedback.

Why is leadership important in nursing?

Nursing leadership is crucial because it is one of the primary drivers of nurses’ inspiration and motivation to provide the best care possible. Excellent nursing leaders foster environments that inspire staff members to be enthused and passionate about their work. Nursing leaders support other nurses in acting professionally and provide them with the direction and resources they need to perform better than expected.

Strong nursing leadership inspires nurses and other staff to collaborate more successfully. Strong interpersonal skills are a necessity for all nurses in order to work together efficiently and deliver the best care to patients. Nursing managers encourage their teams to communicate openly and work together to solve any problems that may arise. Additionally, they encourage their teams to assist one another when they are busy.

Additionally, nurse leaders enhance the standard of care in a medical facility by examining the procedures used by nurses and the facility as a whole and seeking out ways to make them better. They regularly assess themselves and those around them to improve the team’s overall performance and take action if they notice changes in performance.

What are the qualities of nursing leadership?

Some of the essential qualities of good nursing leadership are:

Nursing leaders understand the importance of traits like bravery, honesty, character, and passion in leadership.

How do nursing leadership styles impact patients?

Patient outcomes may be significantly impacted by nursing leadership philosophies. For instance, the transformational leadership style appears to encourage nurses to perform job-related tasks more carefully, which is associated with a decrease in medication errors. Some leadership philosophies also merely lead to better care and treatment, which lowers patient mortality.

Patient satisfaction is also positively impacted by specific leadership philosophies. In other words, under certain leadership styles, patients are more likely to be satisfied with the care they received while they were in the hospital.

How to demonstrate leadership as a nurse

There are steps you can take to show leadership as a nurse, regardless of your position in nursing. Here are some steps you can take:

1. Be proactive

Leadership in nursing is proactive, and when they see a situation that needs to be handled, they act in a constructive manner. For instance, investigate the issue and submit a request for the patient to receive a new bed if they complain that their current bed is uncomfortable. Take proactive measures to lessen the likelihood of a patient falling if you notice they have a higher risk of doing so. Show your nursing managers that you are proactive in resolving problems you come across throughout the course of the day.

2. Be fast to respond in a crisis

Even though all nurses are prepared to act in an emergency, make a point of being the first to offer assistance, especially in awkward circumstances. Be the first to volunteer to fill in an extra shift, for instance, if there aren’t enough nurses to cover the shifts. This level of dedication demonstrates your value for the security and wellbeing of patients, which is a quality of a great leader.

3. Volunteer for committees

Nursing staff members are frequently needed for committee work in medical facilities. Consider volunteering to demonstrate your initiative. This will demonstrate to management your commitment to making the facility the best it can be. This will not only show your leadership potential, but it will also give you the chance to possibly influence positive change at work.

4. Seek additional education

The healthcare industry is always growing and changing. To advance both your leadership and nursing skills, think about earning additional degrees or certifications. Additionally, certain degrees may help you qualify for more senior positions at the medical facility. Additionally, your manager will understand that you are focused on becoming the best nurse possible thanks to your commitment to personal and professional development. This can ultimately lead to more advancement opportunities.


What are the 4 basic leadership styles nursing?

5 Leadership Styles in Nursing
  • Transformational.
  • Democratic.
  • Laissez-faire.
  • Autocratic.
  • Servant.

What type of leadership style is important in nursing service?

7 Common Leadership Styles In Nursing
  • Autocratic. Autocratic leaders rarely seek input from or consult with their workforce before making decisions.
  • Laissez-faire. Laissez-faire leaders provide the bare minimum of oversight and adopt a “hands-off” attitude.
  • Democratic leader. …
  • Servant. …
  • Situational.

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