A transformational leader is a person influences practice and motivates individuals to perform to their best in delivery of required services that aim to achieve organizational goals and objectives. In the hospital set up, clinical leaders inspire their staff to work towards a common vision, challenge the way things are done in the clinical practice and influence as well as motivate others to practice evidence based nursing. Translating evidence into practice as a nursing leader is a rewarding endeavor to both the leader and the staff.
My vision as a leader is to adopt a leadership style that will enhance continuous professional development that will improve practice of my staff. A transformational nursing leader consummately guides other nurses and members of staff to acknowledge and appreciate evidence based practice as a professional way of patient care. This is because evidence based practice not only improves delivery of health care services but also inspires and motivates the individual. It also endows the healthcare provider with satisfaction of a job well done.
One way to influence the quality of practice is to develop standards of excellence and policies that will guide delivery of services. I will also adopt servant leadership so that others can learn from me. In addition, I will influence the institution to envision their ultimate practice so that they always see it as they deliver services.
Effective leaders also influence practice by demonstrating competence and proficiency in the daily activities. Consequently, they can enhance understanding of socio-economic and financial factors that can affect implementation of new practice. The leader can also keep abreast of global events to quick obtain and new research findings and information that could influence practice. He/she should be current by reading widely and extensively about such factors that can pose a threat or act as an opportunity to new practice.
Several leadership models like the ‘exemplary leadership’ model emphasize the importance of evidence-based implementation of activities. Interpersonal education and communication has been shown to reinforce practice. Therefore, an effective and exemplary leader embraces continuous professional development as a means of improving and updating one’s knowledge and skills. This promotes staff retention and satisfaction with the management.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) developed a model that can be used to encourage use of research findings during healthcare delivery. One of the ways is by conducting research on relevant topics and then packaging the findings in a way that can be utilized by healthcare providers. During this process, AHRQ encourages incorporation of views of end users of the research findings during the knowledge creation and distillation process. The other way is to collaborate with influential professional leaders and healthcare organizations to disseminate the research findings to potential users among which are nurses. These opinion leaders and professional associations act as a link to the nurse practitioners. The last strategy recommended by AHRQ is mobilization of relevant individuals, professional organizations and associations as well as significant teams to implement and constantly utilize findings from research in the day-to-day activities.
Encouraging team spirit between nurses and other healthcare professionals as well as between departments is an important attribute of transformational leaders. Similarly, it is important for teams that transcend expected outputs to be recognized through awards and other staff motivation schemes available in the facility. Recognition of individuals and team efforts serves as an encouragement and motivation to excellent performance.
Primary care nurses act as leaders in patient care and, therefore, it is vital for them to adopt an evidence-based approach in during nursing practice as this improves the service offered to patients. As a nurse leader, embracing inter-sectorial and multidisciplinary collaboration not only promotes team spirit but it is also influences policy development that can redefine nursing practice in the hospital facility and the community . Therefore, it would be prudent for a leader to establish partnerships with the private and public sectors as well as civil society organizations who are stakeholders in the legislation and policy formulation processes.
Incorporating findings from research into actual practice enables the implementer to gain new information that may be valuable in the patient care process. This learning experience enables the implementer to provide appropriate feedback that can motivate others to adapt the evidence based strategy. This enhances job satisfaction by both the nursing staff and the nursing management that eventually leads to staff retention.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (2001). Quality research for quality health care: A report from AHRQ on recent activities and future directions. Rockville: Department of Health and Human Services, AHRQ.
Alleyne, J., & Jumaa, M. O. (2007). Building the capacity for evidenced-based nursing leadership: role of executive co-coaching and group clinical supervision for quality patient services. Journal of Nursing Management , 15 (2), 230-243.
Hopp, L., & Rittenmeyer, L. (2012). Introduction of evidence-based practice: A practical guide for nursing. Philadelphia: F.A Davis Company.
Polit, D. F., & Beck, C. T. (2008). Nursing research: generating and assessing evidence for nursing practice (8th ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
Titler, M. (2008). The evidence for evidence-based practice implementation. In R. Hughes, Patient Safety and Quality: An Evidence- Based Handbook for Nurses (pp. 1-11). Rockville: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.