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Important Communication Skills for Nursing Leaders

Successful patient care depends on communication between physicians, nurses, patients and their families. However, the skills necessary to connect all parties involved are not natural for everyone. Therefore, to reach a level of leadership, healthcare professionals must be adept at communicating with a variety of people.

Nursing leaders interact with individuals of all backgrounds every day, making it vital to understand how to communicate with certain individuals. Each patient deserves the same respect when communicating with nurses.

How nurses communicate with their patients and each other leads to a transformation within the healthcare system. Nursing leaders improve upon the potential of the environment they create within their facilities.

Listening Plus Feedback Equals a Winning Combination

Without solid communication skills, nurses will struggle to convey important information to their patients and colleagues. In order to avoid major incidents, nurses should develop their understanding of different communication styles. By doing so, they are actively transforming leadership within their healthcare organization.

According to an article by the National Library of Medicine, one of the most influential communication skills in leadership is “the ability to listen and provide support while also balancing feedback accordingly.”

The best communicators know when to listen and be there for their patients and family members, but they also know when to speak up and demonstrate their knowledge regarding treatments or illnesses. Nurses should balance between these skills to create relationships with the individuals they care for — as well as work with. Nursing leaders should be able to communicate clearly with the patients and family members they encounter, as well as the staff within the hospital where they are training or leading.

Listening allows nurses to understand what individuals are going through and demonstrates compassion. It shows they genuinely care about what is happening around them and are aware of the emotions of others.

Relaying feedback allows nurses to get the job done correctly and accurately by taking charge of their department. It shows they qualify for the job and are straightforward with the information shared.

Additionally, Chron demonstrates that “improving conflict management through transforming the incident into an opportunity for learning and growth is necessary for good communication.”

At times, conflicts will occur between a nurse and a patient or even among nurses. When this happens, nursing leaders will need to break up the tension by diffusing the situation respectfully. Often, this leads to a resolution via two-way communication between the individuals involved.

The Impact on Organizations

If certain pieces of information are left out or misinterpreted due to poor communication by nursing leaders, it can cause drastic changes in a hospital or health system. Many of these changes involve patient setbacks surrounding the safety or the quality of healthcare provided at the institution.

Excellent communication ensures the protection of patients’ safety and well-being, as well as the overall quality of care the hospital provides. In some ways, the impact of communication on organizations is determined by the nurses who run them. If there is active communication within the organization, nursing leadership is doing its job to provide a satisfactory, transformational environment for all.

Strengthen Your Communication Skills With a Doctorate Degree

One way to strengthen your communication skills as a nurse is to further your career in nursing practice leadership and earn your Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. Those who enroll in the DNP –Leadership online program at Arkansas State University (A-State) will develop the communication skills necessary to thrive in the professional environment.

Students will expand their knowledge in leadership, clinical studies and theoretical models to enhance the patient experience in hospital settings. In fact, they will progress in the healthcare profession in as few as 12 months.

This leadership approach allows all students to effectively discover, address and solve challenges in healthcare organizations. The program empowers nursing leaders to advocate for their patients and change the healthcare system through the act of compassion. For example, the Leadership, Policy and Healthcare Systems course covers the basic principles of quality healthcare delivery and professional nursing.

Graduates of A-State’s online DNP – Leadership program will advance their profession prepared for a variety of educator roles in healthcare, including titles such as nursing director and chief nursing officer.

Learn more about Arkansas State University’s online DNP – Leadership program.

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