Leadership is an important aspect of almost any industry. Most people would often think that leadership is only important in industries that are related to business or making profit. It is only logical to think that leadership is important in all aspects of managing an organization because an organization without an effective leader would not be able to survive the harsh business environment that is prevalent in a highly interconnected world economy. There are sources that suggest that leadership is part of a learning process. The objective of this paper is to discuss the importance of leadership and management in the field of nursing, particularly to support the idea that suggests that not all leadership is about changing or challenging people’s vision of the future. The author of this paper will draw on previously published literature on the topic of clinical leadership and management in the field of nursing to support the assumptions and inferences that will be made in this paper.
A leader, regardless of the type of organization or the processes and operations that it is involved in, is often described as someone who can easily inspire others to do orders and work together in order to achieve the goals of the company or organization. In this case, we are talking about an organization that is involved in the nursing industry. Examples of goals that a good leader in the nursing leadership can do are the enhancement of the quality of patient and healthcare, accessibility, and affordability, among others. This would of course vary from one organization to another, depending on the focus of the leader, and the current issues and problems that the nursing organization faces. Regardless, an effective clinical management and nursing leader should be able to know how to manage the available funds and financial resources, among others that can be used to fuel a project or any organization-related campaign, in order to achieve the organizational goals and objectives. This is where the effectiveness and skills of a leader in the nursing industry would be tested. Naturally, a leader who shows greater promise in meeting the organization’s clients and senior leaders’ expectations, or ideally, in outperforming them, would be considered as more effective compared to one that shows less promising results.
A common assumption in organizational management is the one that suggests that leadership is all about changing or challenging a group of people’s vision of the future. This assumption may pertain to the various changes that any leader of an organization would have to spearhead in order for the organization to reach its goals and objectives. This, at some point, may be considered to be true because after all, a company would not be able to grow without introducing significant changes to the way how things are organized from the chain of command down to the way how each small processes and operations are carried out (Stanley, Congruent Leadership: Values in Action, 2008). Often, the greater the changes that have been introduced, the better it would be for the organization in the long run, provided that everything from the planning process down to the part where the planned processes have to be implemented were properly executed. This is not to say, however, that all management-induced organizational changes lead to better results for the organization because there are surely other organizational change management plans that go awry. This is why there are indicators that can be used to access the effectiveness of a leader, regardless of the industry and one of such indicators is his ability to overcome the hindrances to meeting the organizational goals and objectives.
The idea of continuous innovation is not only used in the field of technology. It may also be considered important in other fields such as in the field of nursing in this case. Any nursing organization which has failed to continuously innovate either the delivery of its product and services or the quality of its products and services themselves would surely suffer from the negative consequences of being left out by its competitors who have managed to do the opposite — to continuously introduce innovations despite the often high price that organizations have to pay for it. Introducing innovation is not a one-night thing. It is rather a continuous process and most of the time, the leader of the organization plays a major role on whether an organization would be highly innovative or otherwise (Stanley, 2011). Also, the process of introducing innovation is often coupled with the process of introducing changes. Innovation is something that would not be made possible without introducing changes. This actually brings us back to the main question about the validity of the idea that suggests that leadership is all about introducing changes and challenging people’s vision of the future. An effective leader would surely be able to find a workaround on how to introduce innovations without having to make dramatic changes or even go to as far as challenge the people’s vision of the future (Howieson & Thiagarajah, 2011), unless the aspect of the organization that the leader would like to change is the vision of the organization itself.
In a nursing organization, the role of the leader is often geared at improving the quality of healthcare delivered by the entire nursing team or department or if its quality is already at par with the organizational performance, maintaining it (Marquis & Huston, 2014). Other goals that the nursing leader may participate may have something to do with increasing the affordability and the accessibility of health and patient care. An effective leader often exhibits a set of personal qualities that would help him surpass the hurdles involved in achieving the goals and objective of the organization, some of which include but may not be limited to persistence, initiative, integrity, courage, and his ability to handle stress. The leader’s ability to think critically, set goals and execute the necessary actions to meet those goals, communicate skillfully with other members of the team, be it a subordinate or someone who has a higher position, and collaborate with other people when it comes to nursing-related works and responsibilities are often the ones that would determine whether the organization’s vision and mission would be realized or not (Davidson, Becoming a nurse leader, 2010).
Nurses are often forced to be creative and innovative in their work. This is because they are the ones who usually have the first-hand experience in interacting with patients. They are often the ones who become compelled to make last minute decisions with regards to patient and healthcare (Marquis & Huston, Classical Views of Leadership and Management, 2012; Davidson, Elliott, & Daly, 2006). Nurses function as the front liners when it comes to patient care. At times, they often become required to do administrative works such as documenting the patients’ progressions and regressions. The same is, in fact, true for nurse leaders, except for the fact that they have the added responsibility of managing and leading people. Also, their co-nurses look up to their nurse leaders and often, an ineffective and highly inefficient nurse leader creates an equally ineffective and highly inefficient set of new nurse leaders as well. In the end, the purpose of the nursing leader would always have something to do with the ultimate goal of meeting the expectations of the entire department in meeting department and organizational goals and objectives.
In conclusion, the role of the nursing leader in a clinical leadership and management in the nursing industry is more concerned with the fundamental goal of effectively and efficiently executing the conceptualized plan of actions in order to reach the set organizational goals and objectives than changing and or challenging the people’s vision of the future. At some point this is true but there is more to being a leader than just introducing changes to the organization and stimulating changes among one’s subordinates. The idea is to see the bigger picture of being a leader and just by doing so, one would be able to determine that being a nursing leader is not just about changing or challenging the people’s vision of the future. In this case, being a nursing leader is more concerned with being a role model to the people, exhibiting the signs of being a leader such as having integrity and excellent communication skills, among other traits of being an effective nursing leader.
Davidson, P. (2010). Becoming a nurse leader. Elsevier Australia, 258.
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Howieson, B., & Thiagarajah, T. (2011). What is Clinical Leadership: A Journal-based meta-review. International Journal of Clinical Leadership, 7-18.
Marquis, B., & Huston, C. (2012). Classical Views of Leadership and Management. Lippincot Williams and Wilkins.
Marquis, B., & Huston, C. (2014). Leadership Roles and Management Functions in Nursing: Theory and Application. Wolters Kluwer Health.
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