What Qualities Must a Nurse Possess to be a Good Leader?

Nurses play a pivotal role in various medical institutions, and there is need to ensure that they possess good qualities that can make them good leaders. Duffy (2009) says that leadership in nursing is very important because when dealing with patients, nurses must ensure that they have the capacity to understand their needs, and how to care for them in a way that would make them feel comfortable within the hospitals. One of the most important qualities that a nurse should have is effective communication skills. Nurses must be able to communicate with the patients in a clear manner in order to understand the condition and needs of the patient. Communication skills are also needed when a nurse is handing over a patient to a doctor. The nurse must articulate all the important issues about the patient. Empathy is another quality of a nurse as a good leader. The nurse must be in a position to appreciate that a patient is in pain, but encourage him or her that the pain shall finally disappear.

Emotional stability is an important quality of a nurse as a good leader. A nurse should not break down when he or she is exposed to situations where a patient is in deep pain. It is important for a nurse to control emotions at all times when dealing with a patient. This will be a motivation to the patient, and will help make the patients or relatives not to panic. A nurse should be flexible. He or she must be in a position to change from one task to another with speed as may be necessary from time to time. A good nurse should also be attentive to details. This means that any time a nurse is receiving instructions from the doctor on how to care for the patient all details must be taken. The nurse should also be keen to details when taking relevant information from the patient. Interpersonal skills are very important for a nurse because he or she is the direct link between a doctor and a patient. He or she should be able to talk freely with the patient and get to understand all the relevant issues concerning his or her health. He or she should also be able to express himself or herself properly before the doctor, and explain all the relevant issues about the patient as appropriate (Matzo & Sherman, 2010).

Physical Endurance is another trait that nurses should have in order to perform their duties adequately. Nurses may need to get involved in such physical tasks as lifting the patients, carrying heavy objects, or undertaking any other physical task within the hospitals. They should be able to endure these physical tasks. According to Vuic (2010), nurses should also have problem solving skills that would enable them address emergency issues concerning health and safety of the patients in absence of the doctor. As leaders, they must be able to know the best course of action in various cases of emergency in order to be able to save lives. Nurses must also have the capacity to respond quickly to various issues in their working set-ups. Cases of emergency should be responded to as quickly as possible in order to save lives of the patients. Finally, a nurse must have respect for the patients, relatives and other staff members.


Duffy, J. R. (2009). Quality caring in nursing: Applying theory to clinical practice, education, and leadership. New York: Springer Pub.

Matzo, M., & Sherman, D. W. (2010). Palliative care nursing: Quality care to the end of life. New York: Springer Pub. Co.

Vuic, K. D. (2010). Officer, nurse, woman: The Army Nurse Corps in the Vietnam War. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

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