Sample Essay on Qualities of a Good Nurse Leaders

Qualities of a Good Nurse Leader

            Different scholars have explored various skills, competencies, and characteristics required of a nurse in their work as health care providers. In the past decade, nursing has emerged as one of the top ten most popular professions. For this reason, there is need to ensure that nursing practitioners possess the necessary leadership skills as they embark on their career. In the article titled, “How to Have Good Leadership in Nursing”, the author notes that while nursing school does not teach leadership skills, they are vital for the nurse’s reputation and career (Wikihow, n.d.). Nursing entails various leadership activities that includes, but are not limited to, mentoring of novice nurses, and guiding patients into wellness.

Developing individual leadership skills goes a long way in enhancing their leadership qualities. Strong nursing leadership is vital for the creation of a healthy working environment. Therefore, nurses must develop the competencies and skills required to ensure success in what they do. Strong leadership skills in nursing are necessary at point of delivering care to patients. In addition, nurses must also demonstrate sound leadership skills at the unit level where majority of the front line staff work (Sherman, 2012). Frankel (2008) who notes that a dynamic profession such as nursing requires confident and capable leaders at the various levels of operation has also echoed similar sentiments. By exercising leadership activities, senior nurses are in a position to develop other staff “by enabling them to apply theory to practice and encouraging them to test new skills in a safe and supportive environment” (Frankel, 2008, p. 4). Senior nurses keen on improving their effectiveness in positions of leadership should consider adopting diverse leadership behaviors and characteristics. For example, they could learn how to inspire/motivate others, be passionate about their work, and demonstrate dynamism in the nursing profession.

Leadership skills are also necessary for senior nurses so that they can effectively delegate authority to others, settle conflicts, and act with integrity (Frankel, 2008). The article by Wikihow (n.d.) has identified some of the vital steps necessary for good leadership in nursing. First, the nurse must recognize him/herself as a leader. Second, the nurse should demonstrate confidence in what they do. Third, nurses should be able to communicate in a clear and consistent manner, in addition to listening to patients and colleagues keenly. Proper time management as well as leading by example and desire for professional growth are some of the other vital steps required for a nursing leader. Besides, such a nursing leader should be able to identify a good mentor who will guide her/him through this important journey. In her article, “what followers want in their nursing leaders” Sherman (2012) indicates that nursing leaders are expected by their followers to demonstrate passion in the work they do, and the commitment to excel in it.

            Moreover, nursing leaders need to demonstrate a strategic focus in their work and a clear vision for it. Besides, they need to be respectful to others, demonstrate caring and empathy, and show commitment to staff development and coaching (Sherman & Prose, 2010). Successful nurses should demonstrate empathy to patients and other members of the health care team (healthecareers, 2013). They also need to be detail-oriented with no room for errors as even the smallest of errors could lead to life-threatening implications. Successful nurses should possess emotional stability to enable them cope with stressful experiences. They should also be committed to meeting the patient’s needs. 

            The creation of a healthy working environment demands that there be strong nursing leadership to lead the various levels within the organization. Accordingly, nurses are required to possess vital leadership skills and attributes for increased effectiveness in their work.   


Frankel, A. (2008). What leadership styles should senior nurses develop? Nursing Times, 104(35), 23-2. Retrieved from

Healthecareers (2013). Top 10 characteristics of successful nurses. Retrieved from

Sherman, R., & Pross, E. (2010). Growing Future Nurse Leaders to Build and Sustain Healthy Work Environments at the Unit Level. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing,15(1), Manuscript 1. 

Sherman, R.O. (2012). What followers want in their nursing leaders. Am Nurs Today, 7(9). Retrieved from

Wikihow (n.d.). How to Have Good Leadership in Nursing. Retrieved from