Our health organization once held an annual performance review meeting, during which I was asked to reflect on what I liked about my nursing leadership role. I think what impresses me is that we have been able to build a successful health organization around values and culture. The health organization initially hired me as a nurse informatics coordinator. I later took a nursing leadership position that revolved around a cross-functional area. I had to guide a team, including physicians, clinicians, nursing informatics specialists. Honestly, I have never had any nursing leadership experience before in such an area. The leadership role demanded a lot, and I am not going to pretend that everything went smoothly. As a nurse leader, what I learned along the way is that one should step back and let his/her team members shine in the given area of nursing practice.
There is a misconception by many people that a nurse leader is the star of a particular team, but that is not right. As a nurse leader, one needs to give team members directions. A boss often has people working for them, whereas a nurse leader has to work for the people or followers. A nurse leader should guide and develop his/her team to become champions in their area of nursing practice. My perception of a nurse leader giving guidance to his/her team members has not changed since I became a leader in my health organization. The unchanged perception is because a nurse leader needs to develop a team that gladly takes ownership of its success and risks. The ultimate goal of nursing leadership is for individuals to make themselves outstanding and ahead of the rest. I will use this information to grow as a nurse leader by acquiring more clinical expertise and knowledge from my team members.