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8 Types of Leadership Styles in Nursing – Which One is Right for You?


Written By: Darby Faubion BSN, RN

Are you a nurse leader or aspiring to become one? Did you know there are several types of leadership styles that can be applied to nursing? Perhaps you have asked yourself or others, “What are the different types of leadership styles in nursing?” In this article, you will learn what leadership style in nursing means, why it is important for nurse leaders to develop a leadership style, and information about the 8 types of leadership styles in nursing, including pros, cons, and examples of each.


What Is a Leadership Style in Nursing?


Leadership styles in nursing refer to a nurse leader’s characteristics and behaviors when managing, directing, guiding, and motivating their teams. Leadership styles are classifications of how leaders behave in management positions.


5 Reasons Why Developing a Leadership Style Is Important in Nursing


Leadership styles and their importance are often misunderstood, even in the healthcare industry. There are several reasons why developing leadership styles in nursing are important. The following are a few things to consider about why knowing and developing your leadership style is beneficial.

1. Effective leadership is associated with better patient outcomes.
2. When nursing teams have strong leaders, employees are typically happier, creating an environment conducive to safe, efficient patient care.
3. Nurses who work with nurse leaders that have established or developed a leadership style know what is expected of them and what they can expect from their leaders.
4. Developing a leadership style in nursing is a way of holding yourself accountable to the role and demonstrating to others that you are dedicated to the success of your team.
5. The different leadership styles in nursing contribute to lower stress, team cohesion, and self-efficacy within the nursing team.




WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF LEADERSHIP STYLES IN NURSING?

The following are the 8 different leadership styles in nursing, including the pros and cons of each, characteristics of leaders who use these leadership styles, and real-life examples.

1. Democratic Leadership (a.k.a. Participative Leadership)


About the Style:

Democratic leadership is one of the most used and effective leadership styles in nursing. This type of nursing leadership focuses on facilitating participation from all team members in decision-making. However, although the democratic nurse leader considers the opinions and ideas of the team, she makes the final decisions.

Pros:

Democratic leadership in nursing encourages knowledge sharing and open communication between team members and leaders. Democratic leadership in nursing demonstrates an attitude that the opinions and ideas of team members are important to the leader. One of the greatest things about democratic nursing leadership is that honesty and accountability are high priorities. As such, team members develop a high level of trust in their nurse leader.

Cons:

While there are advantages of using the democratic leadership style in nursing, there are also disadvantages. Because democratic nurse leaders value the opinions of their team members, they may delay decision-making, which could lead to negative consequences, including poor patient outcomes. If team members cannot reach a consensus about challenges or needs in the workplace, leaders are forced to make decisions based on their knowledge and experience. Unfortunately, this can lead to team members feeling as if their opinions were undervalued or unappreciated.

This Leadership Style is Right for You if:

Research suggests individuals suited for democratic leadership possess specific character traits. For example, effective democratic nurse leaders should be fair-minded, willing to adapt, be a team player, and remain engaged with all team members. If you have high morals and values, value diverse opinions, and are impartial, this could be a good leadership style for you.

Real-Life Example:

Each week, Ms. Wilson, the Director of Nursing at the local community college, holds a staff meeting with all nursing instructors. In these meetings, each instructor has an opportunity to discuss concerns, ask questions, and offer opinions about how to help students and improve the nursing department. When important decisions need to be made, Ms. Wilson brings facts about the situation to the attention of the instructors and asks for input. Once she has had a chance to review suggestions and think about options, Ms. Wilson decides how to proceed.


2. Transformational Leadership


About the Style:

As the name suggests, transformation leadership is one of the types of leadership styles in nursing in which leaders seek to transform the workplace and promote success. Transformational nurse leaders are known to create climates where employers have a higher commitment to their organization, high job satisfaction rates, good team morale, and excellent job performance. In fact, many healthcare organizations that adopt this type of leadership see improvements in employee satisfaction, which has been attributed to more efficient care and improved patient outcomes.

Pros:

Transformational nurse leadership builds a respectful, professional relationship between staff and the leader. This type of leadership motivates staff to perform well and share their thoughts and ideas to improve the work environment and patient outcomes. It also helps leaders stay on track to reach departmental goals.

Cons:

Transformational leadership has several positive potential outcomes. However, like other different types of leadership in nursing, there is potential for negative results, especially if the leader is not consistent. If transformational nurse leaders do not maintain open lines of communication within their team, the likelihood of success is compromised. Transformational nurse leaders must sell the vision of what they want to accomplish and encourage their team to work toward those goals. If the leader does not believe in the moral rightness of a task or goal, they typically will not pursue it. Transformational nurse leaders are known for creating an atmosphere of optimism which creates positivity within the team. While this is good, if there are unreasonable deadlines or high levels of constant productivity are required, employees can experience burnout.

This Leadership Style is Right for You if:

Transformational nurse leaders can be very influential. They specialize in solving challenges by demonstrating how old behavior patterns were unsuccessful, maximizing their team's capacity and capabilities, and promoting change. Successful transformational leaders in nursing are models of fairness and integrity, have high expectations, set clear goals, and inspire others. Other characteristics of transformational nurse leaders include providing recognition and support, inspiring others, and being a source of encouragement. If you have these qualities and characteristics, transformational leadership could be the right leadership role for you.

Real-Life Example:

When a local community hospital experienced an increase in the number of patient complaints and poor satisfaction surveys, the Director of Nursing called a staff meeting to address the issue. The director voiced her concerns about the alarming rate of patient dissatisfaction and asked members of the nursing staff to brainstorm and think of ways to improve satisfaction. After hearing suggestions and rationale for each, the director took ideas from the team and established a set of goals, including answering patient call lights in a timely manner, completing medication passes within the timeframes established by the facility, and making follow-up calls to patients after discharge.


3. Autocratic Leadership (a.k.a. Authoritarian Leadership)


About the Style:

When we hear the word authoritarian, it is often associated with negative thoughts or feelings. However, this type of leadership style in nursing can have good results when used correctly. Autocratic or Authoritarian nurse leaders are strongly focused on controlling situations and team members. In this type of leadership, there is a clear division between the role of leaders and team members.

Pros:

The autocratic/authoritarian type of leadership in nursing can be good when a situation requires rapid or decisive action. Because autocratic leaders know how to take charge, this type of leadership can be quite effective in groups where leadership is lacking. Another benefit of autocratic leadership in nursing is that team members feel less pressure to be involved in decision-making because they know their leader will handle things. Autocratic leadership in nursing offers structure to the team as each member has clearly assigned tasks, deadlines, and rules.

Cons:

Some research indicates there is less creative decision-making under autocratic nursing leadership. In some cases, autocratic leadership can create hostile and dysfunctional work environments where team members develop ill feelings toward their nurse leader. Autocratic leadership styles in nursing may negatively impact employee morale, resulting in dissatisfied team members.

This Leadership Style is Right for You if:

Not everyone is cut out to function in an autocratic leadership role. However, if you tend to thrive in environments where routines and standards are important, which should be characteristic of all healthcare facilities, you may find this type of nursing leadership style works for you. Additionally, successful autocratic nurse leaders focus on established rules and don't mind enforcing them, have excellent communication skills, and are assertive.

Real-Life Example:

Nurse Bowman is the head nurse at a rehabilitation hospital. Some patients are admitted to the hospital and have lengthy stays, which means the staff nurses can have opportunities to develop close bonds with their clients. Because the staff nurses have close interaction with patients daily, they feel they should have more input regarding patient care plans and education. However, because Nurse Bowman is an autocratic nurse leader, she often dismisses the opinions of other nurses. Instead, she creates nursing care plans and doles out assignments to the nurses without concern for their response(s).


4. Laissez-faire Leadership (a.k.a. Delegative Leadership)


About the Style:

The Laissez-faire leadership style is one of the most liberal types of leadership styles in nursing. The term Laissez-faire is from French origins and translates as “leave it be.” This leadership style is characteristic of a hands-off approach. Laissez-faire nurse leaders provide necessary resources and tools to their team members but leave decision-making and problem-solving in the hands of individual members.

Pros:

Like other types of leadership styles in nursing, the Laissez-faire leadership style has its strengths. Instead of expecting team members to have identical thoughts and methods, Laissez-faire style nurse leaders encourage innovation among team members. With the increased delegation that occurs in this leadership style, team members have more opportunities to improve their skills. Team members are encouraged to pursue personal and professional growth. Nurse leaders who utilize the Laissez-faire approach to leadership enjoy the benefit of having more free time to plan and oversee their teams.

Cons:

If it is not implemented correctly, the Laissez-faire leadership model can be disadvantageous. In some cases, this type of leadership can cause nurse leaders to experience weakened positions. This happens when nurse leaders fail to delegate responsibilities to the most experienced and qualified team members. The Laissez-faire leadership style can lead to reduced accountability and productivity. Even when team members are given more freedom, there is no guarantee that they will remain productive. In fact, when there is an absence or insufficient supervision from leaders, some team members may slack on the job, which can negatively impact patient outcomes and the solidarity of the team.

This Leadership Style is Right for You if:

Most experienced nurse leaders agree the Laissez-faire leadership style is not the best option for nursing leadership styles. However, there are instances when some nurse leaders can effectively implement this leadership style. To do so successfully, nurse leaders must be willing to accept change when necessary and demonstrate the ability to make those changes happen.

If you are comfortable delegating responsibility and allowing others to grow and learn, this leadership style may be something you can accomplish. Also, nurse leaders who implement the Laissez-faire leadership style must have the ability to recognize when to be proactive and when advocating for patients and staff.

Real-Life Example:

Mr. Harris was the director of nursing at a community hospital. He had a wide variety of skills and experience, including several leadership roles in nursing. Mr. Harris felt nurses worked hard to earn their nursing licenses and could make decisions about what work needed to be done and when. Because of this belief, he assigned shift supervisors and had each supervisor delegate responsibilities to the nurses working with them. Although this is how the chain of command typically works, the chain of command is not meant to replace the responsibility of leaders to oversee every employee in their charge. The more responsibility Mr. Harris delegated to the shift supervisors, the more they delegated to others. Eventually, the floor nurses became lax in their job, believing no one in management had time to pay attention to their work performance. In time, patient satisfaction ratings decreased, and work performance became poor.


5. Servant Leadership


About the Style:

Servant leadership is one of the types of leadership styles in nursing that is focused on being a servant first. The servant-leader mindset is much different than the leader-servant mindset. Servant nurse leaders prioritize the needs of their team and the people their teams serve. Servant nurse leaders provide team members with the tools, relationships, and skills they need to perform their jobs to the best of their abilities. They strive to see their team members flourish personally and professionally. Although the servant nurse leader has the authority to make decisions and exercises that authority, these leaders value the thoughts and ideas of their team members and, therefore, involve team members as much as possible.

Pros:

Nurses who practice servant leadership typically listen actively, empathize with others, conceptualize problems, and prioritize others over themselves. These nurse leaders are also known to encourage and support their team to promote achieving job duties effectively. The servant leadership approach leads to higher levels of trust and employee morale, which results in a positive work environment and better employee job performance.

Cons:

Servant leadership requires developing solid relationships between leaders and their teams. Strong relationships take time to develop and mature, which is one drawback of the servant leadership approach to nursing. Additionally, servant nurse leadership emphasizes developing each team member, resulting in the team losing focus on professional goals. Perhaps one of the biggest cons of servant nurse leadership is that it can result in decreased employee motivation. In the beginning, servant nurse leadership involves a large burst of motivation within the team because members feel like they matter. However, when nurse leaders must step in to solve challenges or problems, it can cause some team members to take offense and become less motivated.

This Leadership Style is Right for You if:

Servant leadership can create excellent work environments if used correctly, and some characteristics may indicate this type of nursing leadership is the right choice for you.

Excellent communication skills are crucial for servant nurse leaders. Nurse leaders who want to implement servant leadership must be able to listen to others and understand their needs. The ability to work with others and help them reach their fullest potential is another characteristic of servant leaders. Servant leaders have a genuine desire to see their teams be well physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally, and they do their part in promoting that wellness. Emotional intelligence is a must for nurses who practice servant leadership. Emotional intelligence is defined as the ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to communicate effectively, relieve stress, demonstrate empathy, defuse conflict, and overcome challenges.

Real-Life Example:

Nurse Williams is the Director of Nurses at a busy outpatient clinic. Although he is responsible for all the nurses on his team, Nurse Williams understands the importance of making each team member know they are valued and helping them reach their potential. Each morning Nurse Williams takes the time to check each department in his clinic to see if any nurses need help, guidance, or assurance. He assigns tasks that challenge his employees to become better nurses and promptly acknowledges success to further motivate each nurse. The nurses who work with Nurse Williams know he supports them and will stand up for them, when needed. As a result, team morale and employee retention in the outpatient clinic are high, which has positively impacted patient satisfaction and outcomes.


6. Bureaucratic Leadership


About the Style:

Bureaucratic leadership is based on a well-defined chain of command, conformation to rules by team members, and strict regulations. Nurse leaders who adhere to this leadership style depend on their position in the hierarchy of roles to influence team members. This type of leadership style is associated with adherence to established procedures and rules.

Pros:

Bureaucratic leadership has several advantages. Some of the most often mentioned advantages of this type of leadership style in nursing is there are clear roles, expectations, and responsibilities, job security and outcomes are more stable, and favoritism is removed from the equation.

Cons:

While there are pros to choosing bureaucratic leadership styles in nursing, there are also cons to consider. For instance, in bureaucratic leadership environments, everything must go through a chain of command which means work may not be performed on time. This type of leadership does not encourage professional or personal growth or foster collaboration and interprofessional team building. Many employees who work under bureaucratic nurse leaders seem to feel that their ability to exercise innovation, free-thinking, and creativity is stifled.

This Leadership Style is Right for You if:

Bureaucratic leaders in nursing are hardworking, task-oriented, strong-minded, and support the hierarchical structure of their organizations. Successful bureaucratic nurse leaders must be committed to their work and confident in meeting the demands.

Real-Life Example:

Maria was hired as the shift supervisor at a local long-term care facility. Although she had the authority to oversee employees during their shifts, because the facility was run using a bureaucratic leadership style, Maria was limited in the types of decisions she could make independently. For example, Lisa was a nursing assistant who worked on Maria's team. Lisa was very efficient in her job performance, and the patients loved her. Maria knew that Lisa was due to have an annual employee evaluation and hoped to influence management's decision to reward Lisa with a raise. Because of the leadership structure at the facility, Lisa had to give a written recommendation regarding Lisa to the assistant director of nursing, who relayed the information to the director of nursing. The director of nursing then met with the human resources director to discuss options. Lastly, the human resources director had to seek approval from the administrator before a decision could be passed down the chain of command.


7. Transactional Leadership


About the Style:

Transactional leadership is a type of leadership style in nursing that is built upon a structure of reward and punishment based on performance. For example, the transactional nurse leader may offer praise when an employee does a job well. On the other hand, if the team member/employee misses work too frequently with no justifiable excuse, a transactional leader may respond by assigning the nurse to an area of the facility where they prefer not to work.

Pros:

The most apparent benefit of the transactional leadership style in nursing is that team members who perform well are rewarded. This type of leadership offers clearly defined rewards and punishment, which means team members know what is expected of them and what the leader's response will be to their performance. When there is transactional leadership, nurse leaders work to maintain structure and order, and they dismiss anything that threatens the predictability and productivity of their team.

Cons:

While some people are motivated by rewards, others are not. When employees feel the only incentive to stay with an employer is the potential for earning a reward, they may become more inclined to pursue other opportunities, resulting in higher employee turnover rates. In transactional leadership environments, employees know what is expected of them. Therefore, nurse leaders often cast blame on team members who fail to meet goals. Perhaps the most significant disadvantage of transactional leadership is that growth and motivation are not typical priorities for this type of nurse leader. Their focus is often on results and numbers instead of opportunities to help team members grow.

This Leadership Style is Right for You if:

Nurses who succeed as transactional leaders have some common characteristics. These include the ability to focus on short-term goals, favor structured policies, and thrive on doing things correctly and by the rules. Transactional nurse leaders are known to revel in efficiency, oppose change, and are often not flexible.

Real-Life Example:

Nurse Michelle is the lead nurse in employee review. Her job duties include evaluating employee performance and making recommendations based on those evaluations. When conducting reviews, Nurse Michelle realized a staff nurse, Ms. Winters, had been an employee of the company for two years and never called in sick. To reward Ms. Winters’ dedication to the job, Nurse Michelle recommended a raise for Ms. Winters. This is an example of using a reward system in transactional leadership in nursing.


8. Charismatic Leadership


About the Style:

Charismatic leadership is a type of leadership style in nursing that is based upon a foundation of solid communication skills, charm, and persuasiveness. Charismatic nurse leaders are passionate and have strong convictions about the work they do. Because of their strong charisma, they easily inspire the same passion and convictions in others. This type of nurse leader typically inspires strong emotions from team members, encouraging action, devotion, and problem-solving skills.

Pros:

Charismatic leadership can be a very effective approach in nursing. It motivates teams and optimizes the skills of each team member. Some of the benefits of this type of leadership in nursing include the focused commitment to an organization's mission, strong motivational factors that promote positive results, team members feeling valued for their input, and leaders supporting their goals. Other advantages of the charismatic leadership style are that there is no room for egos or self-serving behavior, and mistakes are approached as learning opportunities.

Cons:

Like all types of leadership styles in nursing, there are some disadvantages associated with the charismatic leadership style. If they are not careful, charismatic nurse leaders can create the illusion that they are irreplaceable. Some charismatic nurse leaders get so caught up in their own hype that they feel invincible, which may lead to them pushing the limit of ethical behaviors. Additionally, some nurse leaders who use this leadership style may feel like their opinions are the only ones that matter and may not value input from others, especially subordinates.

This Leadership Style is Right for You if:

Charismatic nurse leaders use intellectual stimulation and inspirational motivation to motivate their teams to achieve goals. These nurse leaders use forward-thinking goal setting, tap into people's emotions, and graceful under pressure. If you can demonstrate these characteristics and be sensitive to your environment, establish a clear vision, and effectively communicate, the charismatic leadership style may be a good fit for you.

Real-Life Example:

I once worked with a nurse named Ms. Collins. She had an outgoing personality that made people seem to gravitate toward her. When Ms. Collins was promoted to a nurse leadership position, no one was surprised. Ms. Collins worked hard to make improvements in the nursing department that would benefit both patients and staff. She found something positive in everything...even challenging situations. Her charismatic personality and zeal for progress inspired everyone on the nursing staff to work hard. As a result, employee retention and patient satisfaction rates increased dramatically.



Ways to Determine Which Leadership Style in Nursing Is Right for You


Not everyone is suited for a leadership position. Those who are offered leadership opportunities often wonder which style is best to follow. As you have found in this article, there are several different leadership styles in nursing. If you are a nurse leader, or expect to have the opportunity to lead teams, you may be wondering how to determine which leadership style in nursing is right for you. First, it is necessary to understand some people adhere to one type of leadership style while others have characteristics of several styles. You may already have preferences for specific leadership styles in nursing, or you could be searching for answers. Here are a few ways to determine which style could be a good fit for you.

1. Identify your strengths.

Becoming an effective nurse leader requires being willing to look deep within yourself. If you want to choose one of the leadership styles in nursing, identifying your strengths is a great way to start. Think about the things you are good at, such as motivating and inspiring people, leading by example, or overseeing projects and people. When you identify your strengths, you can examine the different leadership styles and find one that matches your goals for your role.

2. Identify your weaknesses.

Knowing your strengths is great, but if you want to be a strong nurse leader, you also must identify your weaknesses. Once you identify your weakest areas, you can learn how they may affect your leadership role. Nurse leaders who are willing to be transparent about their weaknesses and overcome them help inspire others to improve themselves, which strengthens the whole team.

3. Know your personality traits.

One of the best ways to determine the leadership style in nursing that is right for you is to know your personality traits and how they apply in each type of leadership style. What are your most dominant characteristics? How do you express those traits? When you identify your personality traits, you can better assess how those traits will help you lead a team effectively and which type of leadership style is most like you.

4. Consider what you value personally and professionally.

Our values directly influence our behavior. The things you value establish traits upon which your reputation is built. Be honest with yourself about the things that are important to you and be willing to share those values and ideas with others.

5. Determine your ability to delegate.

It can sometimes be hard to let go of the reigns and allow others to handle responsibilities. As you try to determine your nursing leadership style, consider whether it is easy for you to delegate tasks to others or if you prefer to do things yourself. Keep in mind that wanting to get things done is not bad, but no one can accomplish everything alone. That's what is great about nursing teams. Effective nurse leaders who know what to delegate and to whom make it easier to accomplish goals and benefit patients, the healthcare team, and their organization.

6. Observe other leaders.

When I was in tenth grade, I was required to take a home economics class. I remember my teacher, Ms. Hunt, was teaching about family influences. She told our class, “Whether you like it or not, you will always be controlled in some form by your parents. You either grow up wanting to be just like them, or you grow up wanting to be the exact opposite.” While I understand there is probably some gray area there, the concept of what she said made sense then and still does. Everything we learn is by watching others, including our leadership characteristics. You can learn a lot about the type of leadership styles in nursing that best suit you by watching other leaders. Do you see qualities you like or dislike? If so, what would you do the same or differently?

7. Ask for feedback from your leaders and subordinates.

Getting opinions from your leaders can give you valuable insight into the behaviors you may have demonstrated but did not realize. Although it may feel uncomfortable asking subordinates for feedback, it is possible to do so without making anyone feel uncomfortable. You could create an anonymous survey for team members to complete and allow for space for them to make suggestions or requests. The greatest lessons we can learn about being effective nurse leaders are often learned from those in our charge.


Can You Develop Your Own Unique Leadership Style in Nursing?


It is entirely possible to develop your own types of leadership styles in nursing. Take the time for self-reflection and seek opportunities to grow and learn. Find things about each type of leadership style that attracts you and combine them to create your individual leadership style.


5 Strategies to Help Develop Your Own Unique Leadership Style in Nursing


As you begin to develop your leadership skills and style, it is important to remember that you do not have to be perfect. There are several leadership styles in nursing. You can find one that matches your personality, character traits, and goals and follow that style, or you can find things that matter to you and develop your own unique leadership style. Here are a few strategies to help you develop your own unique leadership style in nursing.

1. Practice personal discipline.

Good nurse leaders must learn and apply discipline in their personal and professional lives. When you practice discipline, you inspire others to be disciplined, which makes leading a team easier.

2. Learn about and develop situational awareness.

The definition of situational awareness is having the perception of all elements in an environment, comprehending their meaning, and understanding how they may affect others. Simply stated, situational awareness is knowing what is going on around you. When you develop situational awareness, you can see the big picture and anticipate potential challenges or problems.

3. Do not be afraid to follow.

A valuable trait in nurse leaders is the willingness to follow others when appropriate. It is not always easy to follow, but the ability and willingness to do so demonstrates the concept of teamwork to others.

4. Learn to resolve conflicts.

No matter how great your team is, if you work with them long enough, you will see conflicts. Strong nurse leaders recognize problems and address them before they get out of hand.

5. Never stop learning.

Effective nurse leaders understand and appreciate the value of consistent learning. When you learn new things, it keeps your skills fresh and your mind sharp. Employees who see leaders learning aspire to learn and grow as well.


Useful Resources Related to Leadership Styles in Nursing


The idea of finding and developing leadership styles in nursing may leave you feeling as if you are in uncharted waters. That’s okay! One thing that is always certain about nursing is that it’s a learning process. The more you learn, the more confident you will become. The following are some examples of TEDx talks, YouTube videos, podcasts, and books to help you as you begin to develop your leadership skills and style.

TEDx

What's Love Got to Do With It? Leadership in the New Era of Healthcare: Host Susan Carter answers this question with keen insight on how nurses can improve healthcare environments and patient outcomes by becoming influential nurse leaders.
Nursing Leadership: Susan B. Hassmiller, Senior Advisor for Nursing, Director, Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, speaks about the importance of nurses in leadership

YouTube Videos

Nursing Leadership Styles: Learn about the different leadership styles and nursing and which is the right fit for you.
Transforming Healthcare Through Nurse Leadership: In this video, you will hear from leaders from the 2014 Breakthrough Leaders in Nursing and Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action about becoming effective leaders in nursing.
Nurses are Leaders: Anne Dabrow Woods (DNP, RN, CRNP, ANP-BC, AGACNP-BC, FAAN, Chief Nurse, Wolters Kluwer Health Learning, Research, and Practice) shares her views that all nurses are leaders and can become effective in their leadership roles.

Podcasts

Today in Nursing Leadership offers meaningful discussions about nurse leadership and how to achieve your highest potential.
Nurse Leader Network is dedicated to helping nursing find work-life balance, build careers, and become effective nurse leaders.

Books

Leadership Styles: How to Discover and Leverage Yours (Mark Murphy)- From this book, learn about the different leadership styles, how to identify yours, and to use your leadership style to accomplish the best results.
On Becoming a Leader (Warren Bennis)- This book examines the qualities that define leadership, the strategies to achieve it, and the people who demonstrate it. Author, Warren Bennis, has been dubbed by Forbes magazine as the “dean of leadership gurus.”
Primal Leadership: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligence (Goleman/Boyatzis/McKee)- Primal Leadership describes what it takes to become emotionally intelligent leaders.


My Final Thoughts


If you are a nurse leader or hope to become one, it is natural to ask, “What are the different types of leadership styles in nursing?" Finding a leadership style that fits your personality and goals is an important part of being a successful nurse leader. The 8 types of leadership styles in nursing featured in this article are examples of the types of leadership that may interest you. Nursing teams want leaders who are compassionate about patients and their teams. So, whether you relate to and choose one of these styles or develop your own, the most important thing is to be genuine.


Darby Faubion BSN, RN
Darby Faubion is a nurse and Allied Health educator with over twenty years of experience. She has assisted in developing curriculum for nursing programs and has instructed students at both community college and university levels. Because of her love of nursing education, Darby became a test-taking strategist and NCLEX prep coach and assists nursing graduates across the United States who are preparing to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).