Organizational Systems and Quality Leadership
There are several types of leaders in the healthcare industry and informal leaders are becoming a more valuable asset in the management hierarchy than ever before - Organizational Systems and Quality Leadership introduction. Informal leaders in nursing do not have authority or formal titles but function as advocates for the organization and enhance contributions of themselves as well as their peers through knowledge, influence, expertise and relationship building (Smart, 2010). These informal leaders have proven to play a significant role in meeting the challenges in healthcare today. Leadership Strategies
Nurses can exhibit leadership qualities and assume an informal leadership role in numerous ways. While there are several strategies that enable informal nurse leaders to exert leadership even though they are not in a formal leadership role, the author will only concentrate on two. The first strategy exhibited is when a nurse assumes a leadership stance and becomes a change agent. The demand on nurses today is much greater than it has ever been due to staffing constraints, complexity of patient care and governmental requirements imposed in healthcare organizations.
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Informal leaders recognize real situations and begin looking for solutions to the problems that arise. Often staff members become frustrated and angry when encountering problems but the informal leader takes a stance to evaluate the situation and look for resolution instead of joining in with the complaints and negativity of the staff. This leader can then help the complaining staff redirect this negative energy towards a positive solution and empower the staff to be part of the solution instead of the problem.
The second strategy that is important for nurse leaders is the ability to create an environment of care. Nurses have a responsibility to care for their patients and families but the nurse leader also must care for the staff members. There is a direct correlation between staff members that feel valued and cared about and the care that is passed on to their patients (McNeese-Smith, 1997). The informal nurse leader is usually a nurse that is working in the “front line” with the staff and is attuned to many of the problems they are encountering.
This allows numerous opportunities to reinforce positive behavior and performance and offer words of encouragement. A leader that is supportive, caring and enthusiastic can spawn similar feelings among the rest of the team. (Hughes, 2008) •Provide mentoring to individual staff members based on need encourages employees to accomplish goals and objectives and involves communicating, delegating, motivating, and managing conflict. References Hughes, R. (2008). Nurses atthe sharp end of patient care. Retrieved from http://www. ncbi. nlm. nih. gov/books/NBK2672/ Informal leader. (n. d. .
Retrieved from http://www. businessdictionary. com/definition/informal-leader. html McNeese-Smith, D. K. (1997, September). The influence of manager behavior on nurses’ job satisfaction, productivity, and commitment. Journal of Nursing Administration, 27(9), 47-55. Retrieved from http://journals. lww. com/jonajournal/Abstract/1997/09000/The_Influence_of_Manager_Behavior_on_Nurses__Job. 11. aspx Smart, M. (2010). The hidden power of informal leadership: what you need to know to identify your hidden leaders, build trust, inspire action and get results. Longwood, FL: Xulon Press.