This paper tries to explore the concept of leadership in context of nursing. In this study, charge nurse and head nurse are interviewed to determine various aspects of nursing leadership by evaluating their education level, competences, training and challenges faced by them. The paper also takes account of how they successful accomplish their designated role.
Good leadership and management by nurse id vital for the health achievement for all. Competent and well-prepared nurses are needed nationally and locally who are able to identify needs and problems, work on teams that are interdisciplinary to devise development plans for human resource, elevate the quality of health care at reasonable cost, and improve working conditions.
Most of research and literature on nursing focuses on the competencies, roles, and impact of nurse executives and managers. Few researches have been written regarding charge nurses who believe frontline clinical responsibilities of leadership is limited to the unit level.
The role of charge nurse is complex; therefore, vast set of skills are needed for their effective. Charge nurses must be well educated about their legal liability and professional accountability and under practice acts of nurse. Leadership role is classified into three groups that are empowerment of self and others, managing people and resources, and managing unit performance. Charge nurses require leading staff while managing the work processes and systems on their unit to assure that the patients' needs are met. Charge nurse has limited formal leadership role and power (Jasper, Grundy, Curry & Jones, 2010).
The key challenge charge nurses faced is the complexity and diversity of duties. Charge nurses are responsible to manage patient care operations, as well as they assign workloads, tasks and supervise the patients care. Moreover, they are provided guidance, mentorship and support to other staff. Charge nurses are frontline leaders and are ears and eyes of patient care operations. They are imperative to ensure staff retention, satisfaction, quality, and safety of patient.
To meet these challenges that they encounter in their work environment; therefore, charge nurses will require ongoing development of competency. Charge nurses also need to be encouraged to receive a master degree; however, they must have baccalaureate degree which in fact they do not have. On the other hand, they must have at least baccalaureate degree to meet the requirement of frontline leadership (Anthony, Standing, Glick, et al., 2005).