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  • 30 August 2023
  • 8 min read

Strategies For Nurses In Leadership Roles

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    • Richard Gill
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Strategies for nurses in leading roles to cultivate inclusivity“By creating a culture of inclusivity and championing diversity at all levels, nurse leaders can empower their teams and cultivate a welcoming and equitable environment.”

This article explores the essential strategies for nurses in leading roles to cultivate inclusivity, empower their teams, and champion diversity within healthcare settings.

Nurses in leadership positions play a pivotal role in shaping healthcare environments, influencing policies, and driving positive change. To create inclusive and equitable workplaces, nurse leaders must actively foster an environment that celebrates diversity and promotes inclusion.

Nurse Leadership Roles And Responsibilities

Nursing leadership roles can look very different, this is not only managerial roles. This also includes team leaders, charge nurses and nursing practitioners.

Leadership is important as it can provide guidance, inspiration as well as motivation. Leaders in any team are essential to ensure the day runs smoothly, ensuring patient safety and efficient skill mix.

Effective nurse leadership involves using personal connections and knowledge to motivate staff and to improve patient outcomes. The primary skills required for effective leadership in nursing include valuing others, team building, and conflict resolution.

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5 Types Of Leadership In Nursing

The 5 types of leadership in nursing are: transformational, democratic, laissez-faire, autocratic and servant.

Transformational leaders adopt a collaborative leadership approach to create change by using a common vision, encouragement, and inspiration. These leaders are frequently regarded as outgoing, open to new experiences, charismatic, secure in their own identity, creative, and visionary.

A democratic leader employs a shared leadership approach in which they leverage group engagement to influence decision-making and management. This is sometimes referred to as participative leadership. Democratic leaders are frequently described as being mutually respectful, collaborative, encouraging, empowering, and supportive of innovation.

A facilitative leadership style known as laissez-faire involves the leader making few decisions. Instead, this type of leader takes a "hands-off" approach to let the group to drive decision-making and discover solutions to work-related difficulties. This is the opposite of authoritarian rule.

Autocratic leadership is a style in which the leader delegates authority to others in an autocratic manner. These leaders are the opposite of laissez-faire leaders in that they are intolerant of experimentation and error. Most often, autocratic leaders are described as independent, highly structured, decisive, authoritative, and ultimately "the boss."

Servant leadership is defined by supporting team members with the knowledge, resources, and connections they require to function to the best of their abilities is the definition of servant leadership. Power-sharing, active listening, conceptualising issues, empathising with others, and putting others before oneself are all traits of servant leaders.

Effective nurse leadership involves using personal connections and knowledge to motivate staff and to improve patient outcomes.

Cultivating A Culture Of Inclusivity

Nurse leaders must lead by example and foster a culture where diversity is celebrated, and every team member feels valued and respected. Encourage open communication, active listening, and empathy to ensure that the voices of all team members are heard and appreciated.

Along with this comes effective communication. This includes both oral and written communication. Leaders must lead by example therefore communication has to be effective especially in documentation. Nurses in leadership roles also communicate with the MDT, patients, and stake holders. This means that their communication style has to fit the circumstance and ensure professionalism.

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Provide Diversity Training And Education

Offer regular diversity training and education programs for staff members at all levels. These initiatives can help raise awareness about unconscious biases, promote cultural competence, and create a shared understanding of the importance of inclusion in healthcare.

Implement Inclusive Hiring Practices

During the recruitment and hiring process, nurse leaders should promote diversity by seeking candidates from various backgrounds and experiences. Implementing inclusive hiring practices can help create a well-rounded and culturally diverse nursing team.

By creating a culture of inclusivity and championing diversity at all levels, nurse leaders can empower their teams and cultivate a welcoming and equitable environment.

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Mentorship And Sponsorship

Establish mentorship and sponsorship programs to support the professional growth of nurses from underrepresented groups. Mentorship provides guidance and encouragement, while sponsorship involves advocating for and providing opportunities for career advancement.

Mentorship can be mentoring student nurses, newly qualified practitioners, or even qualified practitioners. This can look like supporting staff to build confidence or even supporting staff to take on further responsibilities.

Support Work-Life Balance

Promote work-life balance among nursing staff to ensure an inclusive environment that supports the diverse needs of employees. Offer flexible scheduling options and accommodations to help nurses balance their personal and professional responsibilities. Leaders should be able to accommodate where possible as this will ensure an overall positive work environment and reduce burn out.

Address Microaggressions And Discrimination

Nurse leaders must be proactive in addressing microaggressions and discriminatory behaviour within the workplace. Encourage reporting of such incidents and implement robust systems to address and rectify such issues promptly.

Leaders should be able to manage conflict resolution affectively. This can be between colleagues of even staff and care users. It’s vital to understand many different opinions and be able manage expectations. resolving conflicts maximize teamwork, enhance productivity, and increase patient satisfaction.

Create Affinity Groups And Engage In Community Outreach

Encourage the formation of affinity groups within the workplace, where nurses with shared identities or experiences can come together to provide support, share ideas, and advocate for common concerns.

As nurse leaders, actively participate in community outreach initiatives to connect with diverse populations and understand their unique healthcare needs. Engaging with local communities helps build trust and promotes equitable healthcare services.

Incorporate And Monitor Inclusive Policies

Champion the development and implementation of policies that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. Ensure that these policies are communicated clearly and consistently to all staff members.

Establish metrics to measure the progress and impact of inclusion initiatives. Regularly assess the effectiveness of implemented strategies and make necessary adjustments to continuously improve inclusivity efforts.


Nurse leaders have a crucial role to play in fostering inclusion within healthcare settings. By creating a culture of inclusivity, providing education and training, supporting work-life balance, and championing diversity at all levels, nurse leaders can empower their teams and cultivate a welcoming and equitable environment.

As healthcare organizations embrace inclusion, they not only promote the well-being of their nursing staff but also improve patient outcomes and deliver more patient-centred care. Through these strategies, nurse leaders can lead the charge in fostering inclusion, making a lasting impact on the nursing profession and the communities they serve.

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About the author

I’m Amira, I qualified as an Adult Nurse over a year ago and I have been working in theatres since qualifying. I am an adult trained nurse working in a paediatric hospital. I specialise in spines, trauma and orthopaedics. Outside of work I am a keen baker and fitness enthusiast.

    • Richard Gill
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