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Role of the Nurse Leader

Reflecting on your learning from this course, what are the two take-aways from your experience? How will you incorporate the knowledge you gained into your current and future practice? How will you champion new initiatives?

General Forum Instructions

Your responses to your classmates constitute a portion of your Forum grade, so be sure that they are meaningful responses that contribute to the overall quality of the weekly discussion. Your initial post should be no less than 300 words.

Articles for Review

Leadership in the 21st Century

6 Lessons Every Great Leader Learns on the Job

Websites for Review:


Self Management as a Nurse Leader

A good Nurse Leader may spend so much time attending to their best interests of his/her unit, staff and organization, that they may inadvertently neglect their own best interests. Being a leader is not an easy job; there are often conflicting demands on a leader’s time both professionally and personally. However, you cannot take care of your staff if you have not taken care of yourself!

As a leader, you may also assume the role of a follower and a manager. These multiple hats can create role strain on an individual if they are not well understood. Nursing is very unique, and the collaborative nature of the profession allows us to move between roles, often with conflicting expectations on our performance at that moment. To aid in role transitions, the ROLES acronym is often used to help you organization your performance and those working beneath you as they transition through various organizational roles as well.

  • Responsibilities- as outlined by a job description, nurse practice act and culture of the organization
  • Opportunities- how can you improve the role or the functioning of the unit/organization?
  • Lines of communication- what is the reporting structure for the role you have assumed? Who do you need to collaborate with to effectively get things done?
  • Expectations- what do others expect of you in this role?
  • Support- who around you can help you when you need it? And who can you share you knowledge and expertise with?

With role transitions, and leadership roles in general, can come varying levels of stress. There are both external and internal sources of stress that can impact performance within and adaptation to a role. External stressors may include change, social issues, technology, and the common stressors we encounter in our daily practice as a nurse, like staffing, scheduling, and rotating schedules. Internal sources of stress are unique to individuals and are triggered by events or situations. These may include personal change, such as divorce or loss of a loved one, or by placing unrealistic expectations on yourself. Some sources of stress may actually create a positive environment in which some people can enhance their personal effectiveness to meet the many demands placed upon them. However, ineffective coping strategies may include poor or unhealthy lifestyle choices that can create further stress for an individual and create physical, emotional, and mental manifestations ultimately leading to burnout. Table 28-2 in your text outlines several excellent strategies for managing stress. As a leader, it is a priority that you practice these strategies and work to identify sources of stress in your peers and staff and help them identify effective coping strategies that may be effective for them.

Managing your Career

An important part in managing your career is to know yourself. What are your goals? Where are you going and how are you going to get there? Perform a SWOT analysis of your professional career, including your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities for growth and threats. This can help you to focus your professional development activities to the areas in which you may need more exposure and help you outline a path towards your goals. You need to stay current and relevant to the profession to meet your future goals!

An important consideration to make as you perform activities to enhance your career is to make sure that you keep track of them. It is easy to forget all of the activities you have participated in after the fact, especially as a busy leader. One way to do this is to make sure that you always have your curriculum vitae up to date. Make a plan to update this on a regular basis. In addition to a CV, it is a good idea to start a professional portfolio. This is a compilation of your professional activities, CV, artifacts of projects you may have worked on, and usually includes your goals and philosophy about your profession. This is a great place to include any awards, degrees, certificates, and records of continuing education you have completed. Useful for career mobility, it is also a helpful tool if/when you need to apply for or renew a professional certification. A portfolio can be a notebook with all of this information neatly organized, or there are several electronic portfolio programs available for you to use. You may also use Microsoft Word to create one! Be mindful if you plan to seek future promotions or positions to be careful in what you choose to share on Social Media. Many future employers will search sites such as FaceBook or LinkedIn, so make sure that if you use these sites that your content doesn’t contain anything inappropriate that might give a potential employer reason to raise an eyebrow. If you use LinkedIn or other business-oriented social media sites, make sure that you keep your information current.

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