Nurses are some of the most well-respected and important healthcare professionals in the world today.
Over the past eighteen months, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us just how important nurses are when it comes to ensuring that patients are provided with the best standards of care and are able to recover and go on to live healthy and fulfilling lives.
Compared to many other career options today, nursing has many more progression and advancement opportunities. In nursing, there are opportunities to move sideways into specialist nursing roles or upwards into more advanced careers such as a nurse practitioner or nurse leader.
Nurse leadership roles have evolved quite a lot over the years, and today, nurse leaders have become one of the most essential components in the healthcare organizations that we are familiar with.
They are responsible for the coordination of patient care and have a large impact on healthcare policy, often with a lot of influence over the improvement of the healthcare industry as a whole.
Why Nurses Make Great Leaders
Research has shown that the healthcare industry is improving with nurses in leadership positions. It’s clear to see that nurses tend to make excellent leaders and this is one of the main reasons behind the growing demand.
Nurses are often some of the best leaders because the role itself means developing a lot of skills that are necessary to be successful in a position of authority.
For example, working successfully as a nurse means having excellent communication skills in order to clearly get your point across to other professionals that you work with, your patients and their families.
Nurses know that miscommunication can lead to disastrous results when it comes to healthcare, and their skills in this area will often help them become some of the best leaders in healthcare.
In addition, nurse leaders are primarily tasked with dealing with people. Along with coordinating patient care, they are often responsible for managing teams of nurses and other healthcare professionals and building strong relationships with people who have a direct impact on healthcare policy.
In this part of the role, a nurse’s ability to empathize with others and treat everybody with compassion, kindness, and understanding can go a long way in helping them become a very successful leader who is respected, looked up to and listened to.
Range of Study Options
Nurses in 2021 have more study options available to them than before that are convenient and flexible options for improving their credentials and career overall.
If you are already working as a full-time registered nurse, the idea of going to college and attending classes and lectures on campus might seem impossible, especially if they clash with your shifts or will mean that you need to cut down your working hours or quit work completely while you study.
For many nurses, this isn’t financially feasible and, in the past, would often hold nurses back from progression. Today, the range of DNP leadership programs online from Baylor University and other nursing schools has made it easier for nurses to progress.
These programs offer more flexibility and convenience for nurses who can do the majority of studying from home at times that suit them better.
Across the country, we are seeing an increased demand for nurses due to the current shortage of both nurses and primary care physicians. As a result, there is a growing demand for advanced nursing professionals and nurse managers, and leaders.
The shortage of advanced healthcare professionals who would typically be seen in these advanced roles is affecting the healthcare industry from all corners, and advanced nursing roles are being opened up to close this gap and make sure that patients are continuing to enjoy the high standards of care that they expect and deserve.
With more advanced nursing roles being filled, it is a trend that is expected to progress well into the future as research shows that more nurses in leadership positions tend to have a better impact on patient care and outcomes overall.
Healthcare employers are constantly in need of better nurses, meaning that more and more employers are now offering high levels of support for nurses that want to progress, either by getting a BSN or by moving up into more advanced practice or leadership roles.
Training as a nurse leader by getting your advanced degree is likely to benefit both you and your employer, who will be able to hire from within more easily, save money and enjoy a better reputation due to having a more advanced and educated workforce.
As a result of this growing demand for better-educated and more advanced nurses, more healthcare employers are offering tuition assistance and forgiveness programs along with support for advanced degree programs designed to be fit around working as a nurse.
Working as a nurse leader is an advanced role, but it’s not at the top of the career ladder. Getting an advanced degree as a nurse and gaining experience in this role can prepare you for taking your career even further.
A minimum of a master’s degree in nursing is typically required to work in a nurse leadership role, with some employers requesting that you gain a doctorate of nursing practice to be eligible for this position.
These qualifications will also qualify you for a wide range of further advanced nursing roles including working as a nurse practitioner if you decide that you prefer more patient-centered work, or working as a nurse educator if you want to be instrumental in helping reduce the shortage of nurse educators which is directly impacting the nursing shortage in the country.
Nursing is often viewed as a bedside role but the truth is that there is much more to this career than that. For nurses who want to progress into positions of authority, nurse leadership could be the ideal career goal.
Nurse leaders are not only responsible for managing teams and ensuring patient care, but are also having an increasing impact on healthcare policy in the country.