The Benefits of Having a Well-Structured Nurse Leadership Team

At their core function, a nurse leader must lead their team in order to maintain the quality and supply of patient care. With the right support, this job is quite manageable.

The most basic type of support is what falls under the category of leadership. Therefore, it makes sense that even if you are just starting out as a new nurse leader, you should have a strong foundational understanding of leadership basics before moving further into any advanced topics like Nurse Leadership Team structures and processes.

A well-structured nurse leadership team consists of three core member types: A head (boss), executive team member(s), and clinic staff members.

How to Start Building the Best Nurse Leadership Team

As you begin to grow your team, you will need to decide who will be the head nurse and who will be executive team members. Generally, the head nurse is the person who is ultimately responsible for running the clinic and coordinating day-to-day operations.

This person directly supervises all nursing staff in their care delivery role as a member of their nursing leadership team.

Executive team members are those individuals who have a direct impact on the performance of your clinic but are not responsible for direct supervision (i.e. Registered Nurses).

An executive team member should be viewed as a contributor on a level beyond the clinic’s day-to-day functioning.

The Types of Nurse Leaders and Their Relationships

The Head Nurse

In order to be a successful leader, you need to know your staff members. If you don’t know them well, then you won’t be able to effectively lead your clinic staff. At the onset of your leadership role, you will have a better understanding than others on the team will.

You should understand that some staff members are not going to challenge you or your ideas in ways that will move the nursing care forward in a positive way; however, other staff, such as the nursing admin team, may challenge you every step of the way as they genuinely try to provide insight on areas where they think things could be improved. You will need to be able to communicate on multiple levels with your staff.

The Executive Team Member

Executive team members are the people who form the basis of the success of the Nurse Leadership Team. They take on specific roles in order to both make things happen within their sphere of influence and to help you as a leader by their actions.

Generally, these individuals fall into one of these three categories:

  • People Management – this individual works alongside you, collaborates with your staff, and coordinates day-to-day operations in a way that meets expectations for excellence.
  • The “Strong” Leadership Team Member – In order for the team to be successful, a strong leader is needed. These individuals tend to be more aggressive in their management styles and will work diligently on providing detailed solutions.
  • The “Weak” Leadership Team Member – these individuals are generally less assertive and need to have input into solutions that might result in changes that they may not agree with.