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Arkansas State University

Why Healthcare Leadership Is Different than Management in Other Fields

Managers in any field possess certain characteristics that make them good leaders. But, some industries require more of managers than others. Healthcare leadership is unique compared to management in other fields because many factors contribute to an effective, efficient healthcare system.

This is primarily because healthcare organizations present a more complex environment with multiple parties, both internally and externally, that define success and are part of the decision-making process.

A study conducted by HubSpot that measured the strengths and weaknesses of leaders in healthcare compared to those in other industries highlighted key differences. Healthcare professionals were overall better at interpreting information and analyzing information, as well as managing change. At the same time, they had lower levels of emotional intelligence, including social and self-awareness.

Considering the healthcare industry is a fast-paced environment, it is important for healthcare leaders to be flexible as well as highly knowledgeable about health-related information. Simultaneously, they need to develop more emotional intelligence in order to generate positive outcomes.

Unique Problems in Healthcare Leadership

Healthcare leaders are facing an unprecedented array of changes and challenges. Many of the most pressing include the following:

  • The cost of adequately providing healthcare services continues to grow at a rate that outpaces revenue — resulting in a perpetual decline in operating income
  • Healthcare as one of the most highly regulated industries
  • High demand (by patients) for new levels of quality and cost transparency
  • Influx of non-traditional competitors
  • The shift from episodic care to long-term care regarding chronic conditions and population health
  • Overdue but rushed effort to understand the costs of care
  • An unprecedented pace of technology innovation and the need to analyze solutions with greater speed and accuracy

For leaders to combat these changes and challenges with success, it is essential they implement a better approach to identify and develop their skills. Approaches can include:

  • Preventing leader failure at all levels
  • Making leaders at all levels more effective
  • Giving specific attention to succession planning

By focusing on these areas, the future of healthcare leadership will be more impactful and showcase a significant difference between the healthcare industry compared to other industries. This ideal leadership style is inclusive and meets the needs of healthcare professionals while also sustaining a collective approach within the industry as a whole.

The Future of Healthcare Leadership

According to an article by Managed Healthcare Executive, “Today’s leaders need to be courageous, collaborative and committed — they must have the courage to take calculated risks, and they must collaborate with other departments in the organization and stakeholders across the healthcare continuum.” The best nursing leaders know how to communicate effectively and can work with a team of individuals who want to improve the healthcare system.

As the nursing profession shifts with time, more leaders will need to be courageous, collaborative, committed and technologically savvy. These are the characteristics health system decision-makers are looking for when they hire nurses, and they will implement these values as the industry progresses into the future.

Additionally, nurses will be more equipped with the skills needed to focus on the specific needs of patients. The patient population demands more from healthcare and expects high-quality care delivered with convenience and ease of access. This demand will only increase in the future and allow more patients to see nurses.

Gain Valuable Leadership Skills Through A-State’s MSN Program

An advanced program, such as the Arkansas State University (A-State) Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) – Nurse Administrator online program, can help individuals gain valuable leadership skills specific to the healthcare industry.

This program is designed for working nurses and combines 100% online coursework with relevant clinicals. As a result, individuals will become stronger advocates for both nurses and patients alike and will be well positioned within the industry for new career opportunities.

Throughout the program, nurses will adopt a unique perspective on healthcare, preparing them to collaborate confidently with executives throughout the industry. They will learn the skills needed to be both technologically savvy and compassionate regarding their work in providing care.

The MSN – Nurse Administrator program is best suited for those willing to step up and be a leader within their profession. Also, it’s the perfect program for those nurses who desire change in patient care now and in the future.

Learn more about the Arkansas State University’s online MSN – Nurse Administrator program.

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