Kyle Leffel
Kyle Leffel
January 3, 2018 - 3 min read

Be A Nurse Leader And Enjoy The Perks That Come With It

I think it’s safe to say that every nurse has the ability to be an effective leader. Below I have described some great ways that you can get more involved in your unit, while demonstrating your leadership abilities.

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Run/start a committee

Get involved in your unit’s committee and see where you can lend a helping hand. If your unit does not have a formal committee or gathering, start one. Talk with your unit manager and discuss some of your ideas. This could be a great opportunity for you to get involved with your team and demonstrate your leadership abilities. Start a journal club where you can discuss monthly topics or recent evidence based practices that are apical to your unit. Get involved with your units safety team where you can help identify weak areas in policies and assist on making them better. Find your passion and join a committee, they are the easiest and most effective ways to get involved with your unit.  

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Fix a problem

I have a huge passion for fixing problems, especially in healthcare. I think every unit has an opportunity to grow. As times change, we often develop weak areas within our organizations. Often times these weak areas are overlooked due to everyone being so busy. So take a moment during your shift and take a look around your unit. What are some potential problem areas or what is an old process that could be updated?  Maybe it is a better way of organizing your unit’s glucometers or maybe it can be developing a new buddy system for taking breaks. Whatever it is, fixing little issues like this on your unit impacts the team in a huge way. It also gets others thinking as well, which can spur a whole lot of new ideas.

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Promote a healthy work environment

When I was traveling as a nurse I loved and respected hospitals that promoted healthy work environments. I think this truly shows teamwork and leadership at its core. We are all a team and we need to step up and encourage /support each other. If you see another nurse struggling, simply ask if you can help them with anything.  Even if they don’t want your help you are being kind and showing that you support the team.

You can also support a healthy work environment by participating in your unit’s mentorship program, or taking on a few student nurses during your shift. This will clearly show your leadership abilities by leading new nurses into the profession. If your unit doesn’t have one, create one! I was very blessed to have worked with and been mentored by some amazing people in my career. They taught me a lot that I am truly grateful for. Take the opportunity to do the same for others and participate/lead the next generation of nurses. Who knows, one day they may be asking you if you need any help.

Get fit and get active

If taking part in a unit council meeting or developing new unit policies is not your thing, perhaps you could try leading your unit in a healthy fit club, or host a local walk for charity. There are so many options and sometimes your hospital may already participle in certain programs, so talk with your unit manager and see if you can start a unit team and get everyone together. Sponsoring or joining a charitable walk can be a lot of fun and inspiring for staff members, all while getting a little work out in.

Plan a unit outing

These are a lot of fun and you can lead the way by planning local outings for everyone. One unit I use to work on would go to a different restaurant styled theme every month. So after work, everyone would kick back, relax, laugh, eat, cry, and get to know each other a little bit more. It was a great feeling to be able to get away like that after a busy day. It also brought us all closer together.

These are just a few ways a nurse can get more involved in their unit. I encourage you talk with your leadership team about your concerns and any new ideas you might have. The first trait at being an effective leader is being able to communicate. So talk with your team and see how you can get more involved together.

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