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10 Nov

Nursing leadership: “Command & control” gives way to “support & motivation”

What sort of leadership does the nursing profession need? The discussion of transactional vs. transformational leadership is part of any Industrial/Organizational Psychology curriculum.  Translated to a practical application, transformational leadership (which is based on engagement between the leaders and followers) is a highly effective strategy for improving workplace satisfaction, promoting a positive attitude and reducing nursing staff turnover.  It works especially well in what can be a complex, high-stress environment such as healthcare.*  

So how can you be a transformational leader?   

  1. Be a role model.  In other words, do as you want employees to do, not the (un?)popular opposite of do as I say not as I do!
  2. Clearly set expectations.  This creates a sense of purpose.  Combined with the ability to see the positive, when expectations are delivered with authority, it fosters enthusiasm and motivation.
  3. Share the big picture.  Engage employees in the decision-making process and encourage them to stretch their boundaries.
  4. Respect the individual. Every employee has their strengths and weakness and is motivated by different things.  Encouraging the positive differences in each employee is much more productive than trying to force the same qualities across the entire team.                   

The benefits of transformational leadership in nursing are why it is included in the Magnet® mode as developed by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.  How do you see this model playing out in your workplace?   

*For more information, read What Followers Want in Their Nurse Leaders, Rose O. Sherman, EdD, RN, NEA-BC, FANN


Viv Smith was the Director of Marketing at Fashion Seal Healthcare®. Viv has more than 10 years of experience in digital and interactive marketing.

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