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Key Leadership Qualities for Nurse Practitioners

Becoming an effective nurse practitioner requires a great deal of education and discipline to achieve the best patient care outcomes. As individuals advance and take on more responsibilities related to care, they must harness other skills central to a leadership role.

It is vital for those pursuing a role as a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) to understand how to motivate, influence, counsel and manage various personalities and stressful situations. These are the primary principles of leadership. For example, Northern Kentucky University’s DNP online program has a Leadership in Organizations and Systems course that covers the basics of leadership principles in facilitating organization-wide changes and promotes communication at the highest level. In its Quality Improvement Strategies course, students focus on the systems leadership principles to assess the design and implementation of improvements in healthcare facilities. Due to the program’s accelerated nature, students can complete coursework in as few as 20 months.

Specific to the healthcare industry, Indeed illustrates leadership in this way: “health care leadership is when a member of a health care organization relies on their professional skills and qualities to direct their team to achieve an outcome.”

It is important to have strong leadership within healthcare organizations because it allows the nursing team to thrive and improve performance. This also ensures all patients receive urgent and compassionate care. Without healthcare leadership, many facilities would be in jeopardy of falling apart, and employees would be at odds with each other due to a lack of direction.

What Makes a “Great” Nurse Practitioner?

Among the characteristics or qualities of effective nurse practitioners, skills in these areas are some of the most critical:

  • Mentorship roles. It is important to form connections with other healthcare professionals to mentor them and guide them in the career field. It demonstrates that they will have support when the time comes.
  • Professional development. As time goes on, DNPs must adapt to the changes within the healthcare arena and continue to develop their professional skills. This allows them to better understand the needs of their facility.
  • Promote opportunities. The best leaders allow their staff to take initiative and create their own practice through training sessions and development.
  • Prioritize communication. Nurse practitioners can communicate effectively with their staff and allow employees to voice their opinions to benefit the organization.
  • Lead by example. Delegating duties in a manner that demonstrates the values that the entire facility should emulate.
  • Compassion. It is influential for DNPs to show compassion to their team because they act as a model for their employees to share this same compassion with others.

There are many qualities that a DNP must possess, but these are the most important, as stated by Indeed and various other experts in the medical field.

Positive Impact on Healthcare

When DNPs lead their staff using the characteristics mentioned above, they are better able to optimize the care their organization provides. This allows employees to feel seen within the organization and ensures they are content with their work life, reducing turnover.

On a patient level, it is life-changing when a healthcare professional can communicate about the treatments or programs that might benefit them. It shows patients they are in good hands and will be cared for with attention to their specific needs. They will never feel as if they are not being advocated for in a patient-first healthcare setting.

Impact Your Career With a Doctorate Degree

One way to impact the healthcare field as a nurse practitioner is to further your career and earn your DNP degree. Those who enroll in the Post-Master’s DNP online program at Northern Kentucky University (NKU) will meet the challenges of a complex healthcare sector and improve patient outcomes.

Students will conceptualize new care delivery models based on contemporary nursing science, models feasible within current organizational, political, cultural and economic perspectives. This intensive program allows all students to explore the roles of the clinical scholar and leader associated with the scholarship of discovery, integration and application of knowledge to solve problems across disciplines.

Graduates will obtain the knowledge and skills necessary to enter influential roles in this diverse field, such as administrators and nurse educators.

Learn more about NKU’s online Post-Master’s DNP program.

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