We are all leaders, no matter where we work, the patient populations that we care for, or our role in nursing. As nurses, we lead every day – some of us at the bedside or in the clinic, some of us in the classroom, some of us in patients’ homes, some of us in the boardroom – there are too many places to list! Hopefully, you already realize that you are a leader every day, but if you do need a little convincing, through the course of this year we’ll make it clear to you.
So how are you a leader? Ask yourself the following questions…
1. Are you an expert?
Think of the things that your colleagues come to you for repeatedly. Maybe it’s a question about a certain diagnosis or patient population. Perhaps you’re the go-to person for placing I.V.s when there is a patient who is a difficult stick.
2. Are you an educator?
Do you teach students? Do you ever precept new or new-to-your-unit nurses? Do you teach colleagues from other disciplines about the unit where you work? What about patient education? (We all do this one!)
3. Are you an advocate?
Do you speak up for your patients and their families? How about for yourself? Your colleagues? The nursing profession?
4. Are you a role model?
Do you take on the charge nurse role? Are you a team player? Are you a nurse that others strive to be like? Do you model healthy behaviors for patients and the public?
5. Are you a voice for our profession?
Are you educated about the global issues affecting nursing and health care? Are you a committee member at your institution? Are you a member of a professional nursing organization? Are you involved in local, state, or national boards?
6. Are you a nurse?
We know we are trusted by the public – in fact, we’ve been voted the most trusted of all professions for the past 15 years in a row
! How often do family members and friends come to you with a health-related question or advice? The title ‘nurse’ signifies leadership to those around us.
If you answered yes to any of the above, then you are a leader!