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Leadership is widely referred to as a multifaceted approach to identifying and setting goals, and motivating other people to work toward achieving mutually set goals (Porter-O’Grady, 2003, p. 105). On the other hand, management entails overseeing the work of other people in order to ensure that compliance and accountability are maintained. Accordingly, considering the ever-changing working environment in the healthcare sector, more leaders than managers are needed to lead their subordinates toward delivering high-quality care, prioritizing patient safety, increasing consumer satisfaction, and maintaining positive staff development (Frankel, 2008, pp. 23-24). This essay seeks to analyze the article, “What leadership styles should senior nurses develop?” by Andrew Frankel, relative to the characteristics of effective leaders, the political context of nursing leadership, mentorship, leadership models, and professional socialization.

In his article, Frankel (2008, pp. 23-24) notes that senior nurses have a role to play in nursing leadership considering their post-qualification education, practical knowledge, experience, and skills in organizing and heading nursing teams. As a result, senior nurses should become effective leaders by being visionary and committed toward developing plans and strategies in directing their teams to future goals (Mahoney, 2001, p. 269). For example, once I  worked under the leadership of a nursing supervisor who demonstrated excellent problem-solving skills by ensuring that group effectiveness, cohesion, and identification were developed and maintained. He was always passionate, motivated, and solution-focused whenever setting goals together with other team members. This ensured that the other team members were very inspired and ready to achieve mutually negotiated goals.

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Accordingly, Frankel (2008) maintains that senior nurses should demonstrate leadership characteristics in case they expect other team members to respect and trust them. Most importantly, to initiate the development of clinical practice, senior nurses should employ effective leadership styles such as transformational leadership, which entails leaders working alongside their team members to mentor and coach them while inculcating a culture of continual learning. From my nursing supervisor, I learned that effective leaders do not just tell their subordinates to do something, but they show them how to do it.

On the other hand, resilience to the ever-changing nursing roles should be demonstrated by senior nurses in order to show their team members the importance of adapting to the changes. Here, Frankel (2008) recommends that senior nurses should take up organizational decision-making roles to address various issues that affect clinical care. In my organization, it was the duty of my nursing supervisor to ensure that his team achieved excellent results by working as an equal member of the team and representing our interests in the organizational decision-making forums. Basically, he developed a supportive environment, in which senior members could mentor, coach, and supervise other novice members in learning and testing new skills and core values. On the other hand, the supervisor ensured that each member received a performance feedback to maintain self-esteem and guide future plans. Besides facilitating staff support, the supervisor employed different motivational strategies to maintain motivation in the motivated members and instilling confidence in the demotivated members.

Ultimately, senior nurses should play a major role in ensuring that the leadership model in use fits into the needs of their organizations and the people involved. Most importantly, there is the need for senior nurses to facilitate post-registration education through supervised learning to ensure that novice nurses are socialized into the prevailing clinical environment and culture. This will also facilitate practice development, motivation, responsibility, and emotional intelligence among the new members (Allan et al., 2008, p. 545). Therefore, in the midst of the tide of change sweeping through the healthcare sector, senior nurses should remain resilient and focused toward implementing the roles, duties, and responsibilities highlighted in the foregoing discussions to ensure that patient safety, low-cost care, quality care, and consumer satisfaction are guaranteed qualities in their organizations.

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