Nurse leadership is not for everyone and it’s one of the reasons why there’s such a shortage of nurse leaders at the moment. You could be a perfect fit for the position without you knowing, however. If you inspire people around you on the floor and people always congratulate you on your efforts, then this could be a clear sign that this is the right option for you. Or you may have people constantly come to you to thank you for taking good initiatives, for instance.
If you haven’t thought about the option before and you think you’d have the skills and disposition for the role, you should look into leadership positions and see what they have to offer. Let’s take a look at some of the clearest signs that you would make a perfect nurse leader.
You’re the One People Go to for Emotional Support
If people often come to you for advice when they’re not sure that they can keep going, then this is a sign that a leadership role could be for you. People might come to you because they see you as the rock on the floor. They might also appreciate your insights and knowledge. These are all things every nurse leader should have.
You’re Compassionate and Caring
Nurse leaders also need to have a certain level of compassion, not only for them but the people who are working on their teams. You need to be able to tell if someone is out of it and when you’re asking too much from them. You also have to understand what patients on the floor need and always put their needs first, even if it means doing some of the work yourself.
You Want to Do More
If you’re constantly looking for new challenges and you feel left out of important decisions sometimes, then you might want to become a nurse leader. This way, you’ll have more of an impact on how things are done on the floor and on how patients are taken care of. You could influence and spearhead changes in your organization at many levels and your recommendations are more likely to be heard. You might also be able to be a better advocate for your patients and nurses.
If a career as a nurse leader is something that sounds good to you, know that you don’t have to lose your position to become one. You could go with something like an online DNP executive leadership program from Baylor University and get your degree while you work. You could decide to work either full-time or part-time and get your qualifications much faster than through a traditional program. This is something we strongly suggest you look into if you can’t imagine going to nursing school while working right now.
You Have a Great Sense of Organization
Another essential skill for nurse leaders is good organizational skills. Nurse leaders also need to be great with multi-tasking.
You will have to juggle between taking care of patients and coordinating the people on the floor. You might also have to take over tasks that should be done by nurses who are under you from time to time. This means that you’ll need to keep track of multiple things at once. Not being able to do so could result in you losing control of people on the floor or causing important errors.
Time management skills are also very important for nurse leaders. You will often be the one who stays long hours to fix someone else’s mess or because there are not enough people on the floor. Time management skills are especially important if you have a family and other obligations to deal with outside of your job. So, if you have no trouble managing your schedule and are always on top of things, then nurse leadership might be for you.
You Inspire Others
If people constantly come to you and tell you that you are an inspiration to them, then you might be a nurse leader without knowing it yet. People may tell you that they don’t understand how you can always keep things together, for instance. This is a sign that people look up to you, and a trait that is very important for a nurse leader.
Nurse leaders need to inspire and lead by example. This is one of the things that separates them from regular nurses. There are the ones leading the charge and boosting the morale of the people on their team. If you feel like this is you, then you need to look into nurse leadership roles more in detail.
You’re Mentally Strong
Few people on the floor deal with as much stress as nurse leaders, as they have to know pretty much everything that is happening on the floor. This means that they know whenever someone dies on the floor or when a patient’s condition is deteriorating rapidly. This is something that could be difficult to deal with for many people, but if you’ve always been able to manage your emotions on the floor, then you could thrive in a nurse leader position.
Being calm in the eye of a storm is a prerequisite to being a nurse leader. You might have to deal with all sorts of unexpected events, like a surge of patients on the floor, a critical shortage of supplies or equipment, or missing nurses. You might also have to deal with the occasional conflict between nurses or between nurses and patients.
This is why being able to keep a levelled head at all times is very important as a nurse leader. If you never had issues with this, then consider a job as a nurse leader.
These are all clear signs that you may have what it takes to fill most nurse leadership roles. If this sounds appealing to you, speak with a counsellor today to see if you would be a good fit for a leadership role, which types of roles might be open to you, and what you’ll need to fill them.