Five Qualities that Embody a Nurse Leader

Five Qualities that Embody a Nurse Leader

Nursing is one of the fastest-growing professions in healthcare. This is an age-old profession that, in recent years, has started getting much of the recognition it deserves. Nurses are integral to keeping the healthcare system running, and without their devotion and consistent efforts, it would be incredibly challenging for doctors and other medical staff to ensure recovery.

In today’s age, a nurse’s role has evolved immensely and has become increasingly administrative and diagnostic. Moreover, the nurse leader’s role has emerged as one of the essential pillars in any healthcare organization.

Nurse leaders are vital in assuming command over various nursing units and ensuring that all staff members deliver high-quality care. They’re also responsible for overseeing patients and administrative tasks simultaneously.

Being a nurse leader thus requires the individual to have specific skills and qualities which allow them to fulfill the duties of this role. If you want to learn about some of the essential skills and qualities of nurse leaders, keep reading below.

1.   Firm theoretical knowledge

Being a nurse leader is a role that requires immense responsibility and dedication. The stakes can be incredibly high in this profession, and without a firm foundation in the theoretical aspect, it can be hard for you to adjust practically.

Education and continued learning are thus vital aspects of succeeding as a nurse leader. With the right qualifications, you can be better equipped to advance your career and have better skills to take care of your patients.

Several degrees will allow you to get a specialization alongside developing the skills necessary for a nurse leader. One of the best options is an online CNL nursing program. This is a program that is incredibly detailed and covers a host of topics to help you excel in your role.

A CNL program also allows you to specialize in adult gerontology, which can help you deal with vulnerable patients in acute settings. Moreover, the degree can help you hone your leadership and organizational skills, helping you develop a firm footing in organizational efficiency.

2.   Excellent communication

Inarguably, after having a firm footing in the theoretical aspect, a nurse leader’s most important quality has excellent communication skills. Without effective communication, it can be incredibly challenging for nurse leaders to communicate with all stakeholders and staff members and ensure everyone is on the same page.

Nurse leaders must communicate effectively with doctors, other paramedical staff, administrative units, and patients and their families. They need to ensure that everyone in the system feels like their concerns are being heard and that they can get solutions for their issues.

Moreover, effective communication is vital to ensure everyone is on the same page regarding treatment protocols, diagnoses, and more. This can ensure that there is no chance of any misinformation being spread and no risk of any errors in treatment.

3.   Task delegation abilities

As a nurse leader, you will spend as much time delegating and overseeing tasks as you will work on the ground yourself. If you’re not adept at task delegation, adjusting to your role as a nurse leader can be pretty challenging.

As a nurse leader, you will be delegating tasks not just to nurses working directly with patients but also those acting in a more administrative capacity.

Task delegation abilities are essential to hone because they can help you ensure that you consistently deliver quality care. If you can effectively delegate, you can ensure that no one team or individual feels like they’re bearing the brunt of the burden when it comes to working.

Additionally, you can also ensure that all units are performing to the best of their capabilities and are as efficient as possible. Moreover, task delegation can ensure that everything in the hospital or clinic runs as smoothly as possible and that care delivery has no hitches.

4.   Empathy

As a nurse leader, empathy is one of the most critical yet underrated qualities.

Empathy is vital for your team and clients if you want to succeed in this profession and ensure that everyone can develop as they should. In senior roles, it can be easy to become desensitized to many situations one can witness in the healthcare sector. Whether it’s patients experiencing distress, death, or grief, or staff members dealing with challenging cases, it is always essential to maintain your empathy.

Your team members will look to you for cues on handling the most stressful situations. If you can stay empathetic towards your patients and offer them comfort and support, your team members will do the same.

Doing so can help you ensure that all your clients feel supported. Additionally, it is also vital to remain empathetic to your team members. Junior-level staff, in particular, can have difficulty adjusting to fast-paced and stressful healthcare environments.

5.   Stamina

Stamina is again one of the most underrated qualities essential to an effective nurse leader. It’s common knowledge that nursing shifts can be pretty exhausting, which applies even more to nurse leaders juggling several tasks simultaneously.

You can alternate between wards, departments, teams, and patients on any given day to ensure everything works seamlessly.

If you have low stamina, you can find it hard to stay energized through the long shifts. This can impact your leadership skills and make the rest of the team fall apart. It can also affect the quality of care, as you won’t be able to give high-quality care.

To improve your stamina, nourish yourself with healthy food throughout the day. Additionally, keeping yourself fit and active is integral to strengthening your body and powering through even the longest shifts.


Working as a nurse leader can be an incredibly rewarding job, allowing you to grow in leaps and bounds both personally and professionally. However, to succeed in this role, certain qualities are vital.

These traits can help you become a powerhouse in the healthcare sector, keeping your team motivated and your patients satisfied.

We hope you learned something from this article. If you’d like to add your two cents, please do so in the comments below.

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