10 Ways You Can Become a Nurse Leader

Nurse leaders are made from an education and a mind that is open for learning. Contrary to the old belief, people thought that leaders were born with their leadership traits and skills. In truth, most people evolve into leaders over time. There are, however, natural born leaders but in recent times, there is strong evidence that suggests that the best leaders are the best learners.

In the nursing field, this connotes advancing your nursing education in different ways. One way could be through further study and most likely a nurse would take an NCLEX review. The sad fact is that the less privileged side of nursing society could answer NCLEX questions and pass the NCLEX practice test, if only they could afford further studies in the first place.

In Kouzes and Posner’s book The Truth about Leadership, there are 10 truths about leadership. One of these truths included that leadership is a pattern of practices, behaviors, skills and abilities that can be learned by anyone. As with anything else, developing expertise in leadership takes years.

The author of another book Outlier: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell believes that it takes 10,000 hours of practice across 10 years to become an expert in anything. That’s roughly 2.7 hours a day.

The challenge to grow as a nurse leader is a personal challenge and one method does not work for all. Here are 10 suggestions to become a nurse leader:

1.    Buy and read at least one leadership book twice a year.

2.    Even when it requires going on your own time, try your best to attend leadership development opportunities provided for by your employer.

3.    Subscribe to free leadership blogs.

4.    Observe other people’s leadership skills closely and learn from it. Choose what kind of leadership style you want based on other people’s leadership behavior.

5.    It is good to ask yourself questions in every facet of your own life for instance: Why is this happening this way? What could be done differently?

6.    Seek out other opportunities that may provide a leadership learning experience, even if they just occur normally during your day.

7.    Learn from your mistakes and do your best to ensure that they don’t happen again.

8.    Plan out goals for leadership and self-development and prepare activities to accomplish these goals.

9.    Volunteer to attend classes or serve as champions on new technology or changes in practice.

10.    Be part of a professional organization that helps you grow as a leader through conferences, webinars or committee participation.

Nurse Leaders are key examples. It is good to see nurses wanting to learn, develop and grow. The only way this would happen if these nurses see other nurses doing the same. On the other side of the coin, there is nothing more powerful than seeing a nurse leader continue their studies and further their education. In order to do this, nurses would now have to concentrate not only on the NCLEX practice test scores but more importantly learning from the NCLEX questions. If you would like to develop yourself further, continuing your studies is the first place to start. Eventually nurses would need to go through countless reviews such as NCLEX review, and even more exams after that.