How Nurses Can Improve Their Clinical Leadership

Developing clinical leadership is essential to the success of patient care and management in all facets of healthcare. These clinical leadership roles must be filled and maintained by employees who exhibit the optimum in both their ability to adapt to the circumstances and maintain an influence over coworkers, including team members and management.

In your medical facility or healthcare setting you should realize a strong leader is often promoted from within. The ideal workplace will hone and develop those who exhibit strong clinical leadership qualities and are able to seamlessly change roles as needed. Although this by no means insinuates that you’ll work one day providing patient care and the next in the bookkeeping department, it does mean you should have the ability to ensure the care and comfort of your patients as well as work closely with management and administration to provide for the successful day-to-day operations at your clinical facility.


Common Qualities of a Leader


Whether in “big business” or healthcare, leaders exhibit many of the same qualities. Clinical leadership, obviously, must employ the skills needed particular to the environment, meaning a medical background as a nurse tech, RN, or NP for example, but beyond those certified and licensed skills many leadership traits are the same.The foundation of successful leadership is credibility. You mean what you say and you follow through on your promises. People know they can count on you to take charge and do what needs to be done or find someone who will do it. Additional qualities of someone who would make an effective leader are the ability to:
Maintain Focus
Exhibit Confidence
Cultivate Trust
Enthusiasm for The Job
Offer Support and Assistance
Communicate Clearly

If you aspire to clinical leadership you must possess the qualities of a strong leader. Work to uncover and hone these qualities within yourself as you improve your clinical leadership opportunities by utilizing the pointers below. Clinical leadership may not happen overnight, but your attitude and aptitude will certainly be noticed as you incorporate these 7 tips into your daily routine.


7 Tips to Improve Your Clinical Leadership Skills


Learn to Recognize and Develop Clinical Leadership Skills: Focus on what needs to be done that is within your skill set. Should you realize there is a need to which you are unable to rise and meet, take steps to fill that gap within yourself if possible. Take a class or seek out a mentor who can help improve your proficiency in any areas you feel are weak.

Push for Professional Organization and Board Membership: There was once a commercial touting the privileges of a certain credit card and the tagline was “Membership has it’s rewards”. In the case of improving your clinical leadership ability, membership in certain professional organizations and on various related boards, membership can be extremely rewarding. Networking offers you a bit of an inside track and you may just find yourself exhibiting your skills to someone who can advance your leadership and your career.

Work More Closely With Administration: The ability to come together with those across your healthcare facility’s departments is not going to go unnoticed. A collaborative effort on your part exhibits your strength and competence in matters that involve administration-a worthy talent for clinical leadership . You demonstrate your willingness to work with and learn from all of the departments across organizational boundaries.

Strengthen Your Healthcare Management Skills: In order to proactively prepare for the future of healthcare, and your own career, it may be necessary to learn and develop your business and administrative skills in areas such as technology, operations, finance, and staff management. You may consider furthering your education through certification in these areas, or even obtaining a degree.

Sharpen Those People Skills: As stated above, there are many shared skills across organizations. From Wall Street to your rural medical clinic quality leaders need to excel in their people skills. Focus on improved communication skills and getting your points understood clearly and effectively, motivate and inspire people around you, and improve your team-building skills through trust, support and integrity.

Get Coached: For those who are serious about clinical leadership investing in some one-on-one coaching with a certified leadership coach is always a great idea. If you can’t afford the investment right now, seek out a mentor who is also a well-regarded leader. It doesn’t have to be someone in the medical field but that will help.

Know Your Trajectory: A succession plan may be in place in your healthcare facility, or there may not be a clear course for obtaining a clinical leadership role. If there is a means to advance as others leave their leadership post, and that succession fits in with your trajectory plan and where you expect to be in x amount of time, make your desires known to administration.


Take Your Career Even Further

No one really knows what the future of healthcare will be. There are sure to be changes as administrative duties further merges with clinical care. Get ahead of the trend by determining what you need to prepare yourself for clinical leadership. All good leaders begin somewhere so don’t become disheartened if promotions don’t come along right away. You exhibit leadership skills and you are working on your presence as a strong “unnamed” leader in your healthcare setting. People are taking notice.






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