Why is Leadership Important in Nursing? 4 Important Skills

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Are you wondering why leadership is important in nursing? Setting leadership goals can help you become a high-quality nurse and bolster your career. Marquette’s Direct Entry MSN program can help you develop these skills during nursing school in order to stand out in your career.

nurse standing arms behind back smiling at camera

When you think of nursing traits, your first thought may be compassion, good teamwork, or hard working. However, leadership is a core trait of a nurse that is, perhaps, not discussed quite as much as it should be. Nursing leaders help carry the healthcare system through years of change, supporting patients and staff by remaining adaptable. So why is leadership important in nursing? In short, nurses are the foundation of the healthcare system and hold strong influence over its success.

In Marquette University’s Second-Degree Direct Entry Master of Science in Nursing program, you will develop your own leadership skills and learn to apply them to the clinical setting. In as few as 19 to 21 months, you will earn an MSN degree and enter the workplace upon licensure with a strong foundation in nursing leadership.

two nursing students at table studying

What does it take to become a nurse? Learn the requirements for entry into Marquette’s Direct Entry MSN program.

When considering the importance of leadership in nursing, you should set your mind on goals that will translate to your experiences throughout our Direct Entry MSN program and beyond. Below we will explore four nursing leadership goals to explore, how to work toward achieving them, and how Marquette can help equip you for success.

1. Lifelong Learning

There is a good chance that you are already familiar with professional development, but the concept of lifelong learning applies to both your career and other aspects of your life. To be a lifelong learner is to never settle for the amount of knowledge you already have. This is particularly important in nursing, since the world of healthcare is ever-changing and evolving. To be able to give quality care, you must continue developing along with the rest of the field. True nursing leaders approach each new development or procedure with a passion for learning.

If you have made the decision to go back to school, you are already on the path to a lifetime of learning. You may choose to pursue a doctorate later on, but there are other ways to continue learning like certification and continuing education courses as well. Always be open to ask questions and receive knowledge from new nurses and veterans alike. You have a lifetime of learning ahead of you, and an MSN is only the first step.

smiling nursing students studying

2. Teaching

On the flip side of being a lifelong learner is applying that knowledge toward becoming a good teacher. You may choose to eventually become a nurse educator with an MSN degree, but you will educate patients, families, and even fellow professionals throughout the course of your nursing career. Teaching is an invaluable nursing skill, requiring knowledge, communication skills and grace. Nursing is a team effort, and the ability to teach as well as learn can improve your team dynamics while solidifying your patients’ confidence in your work.

To improve your teaching skills, get to know others in your cohort and in your workplace. Build relationships and begin exchanging ideas, learning from others as often as you contribute. Don’t be afraid to offer new ideas or share things that you have learned. Everyone can improve from new knowledge, and studies have shown that honing your teaching skills can actually improve your learning outcomes. You can begin practicing this skill as a Marquette DE-MSN student by forming study groups while in the MSN program and teaching one another the information you learn.

3. Communication

Communication is a central skill to a successful nursing career. While all nurses should have good communication skills, an excellent nursing leader is marked by their ability to convey information clearly, concisely and effectively while connecting with patients. In the workplace, you will be expected to work with patients, other nurses, and medical faculty. You will work as a team to ensure the best possible patient outcomes, and communicate these choices and decisions to patients and their families. This can often be an emotionally charged process, so communication skills must also involve empathy.

nursing students over manikin

You can further develop your communication skills through practice, day in and day out. Your time as a Marquette MSN student will provide you with ample opportunity, particularly through in-hospital clinical courses where you will directly interact with real-world patients. Be concise and accurate with your language, and prepare what you mean to say ahead of time if the situation calls for it. When speaking with patients, be emotionally intelligent, adapting to their needs while providing care. If you develop these skills, you will stand out as a trustworthy and remarkable nurse leader.

4. Organization

Medical settings can become fairly chaotic, with a rotation of patients with distinct needs, treatment plans, and histories. It is of the utmost importance that each team member is always on top of the details. However, the most organized nurses stand out because with mastery of the information available, they can make better decisions, manage stress more effectively, and be more productive.

During nursing school, you will have many details to manage, so it is a perfect time to set goals to develop your organizational skills. Create a schedule to stay on top of your class work. Put your in-person labs and clinical courses on a calendar and be as prepared as possible for each day’s agenda. In the context of clinical courses, observe the organizational style of your mentor nurses and find out what works best for you when working directly with patients and other nursing staff.

Marquette MSN student sitting at desk using laptop

Learn more about organization and coping with nursing school stress.

Prepare to Be a Nursing Leader with Marquette

At Marquette, we prioritize your questions about “why is leadership important in nursing?” Set goals to develop these leadership skills in nursing while working toward your MSN degree at Marquette. Your qualities will make you stand out and help you become a better nurse overall. Our coursework and simulation labs are led by outstanding faculty and clinicians who will help you develop these qualities at every step of the way.

Are you ready to start your journey with Marquette’s Direct Entry MSN program? Contact our admissions team today.