Qualities of a Nurse Leader
It is important for nurse leaders to engage with other nurse leaders to understand professional roles; a practice experience is assigned to achieve this end. It is expected that you will spend 8-10 hours with the nurse leader, shadowing them in their position, observing them go about their day, and interviewing them. The interview can take place before, during, or after the shadow period or can be on a different day.
You will engage with and interview a nurse leader in person. You should begin thinking about this activity as soon as possible and identify how you will identify and gain access to the interview. You may include photos, graphs, or charts.
- Choose a nurse leader who holds a leadership nursing position in their organization who have direct reports (they supervise other employees). Examples of this include Director of Nursing, Director, Unit Manager. *You may not be employed in the same facility as your interviewee or shadow during personal work hours* (If special accommodations need to be made, approval by your instructor is required first).
- Develop an interview guide before conducting the interview. Identify information that you want to know before the interview and plan clarifying questions. You must include at least one question about technology/informatics.
- Conduct an interview regarding their professional role in the organization, and a current health care issue that is of interest to you (ethics, conflict management, budget, staffing, culture of safety, “just culture”, career advancement, quality improvement, etc.). Identify the name of the organization and use names of all involved (no anonymity).
- Prepare a written report of the interview.
Sample questions below. Feel free to vary the content of the questions to fit your interview:
- Please describe the nursing and inter-professional teams that operate in this facility/on this unit.
- Can you provide an example of a nursing practice that has been changed in the last year based on current best evidence?
- What do you consider your biggest challenge?
- What do you love most about your job?
- Why did you choose this job?
- What other kinds of nursing/other job did you ever do?
- How would you describe your company’s culture?
- How would you describe your role in admission and staffing decisions?
- What is your leadership style?
* If you are employed in a large healthcare facility that has more than one location, you may interview the nurse leader in that organization with prior permission from your instructor. The purpose of this is to get you out of your organization and explore other nursing leadership roles than you might be familiar with.