On 3rd September 2023, on the second episode of Single Stories, we had the privilege of inviting a seasoned leader and a versatile nurse into our midst, in person of Nurse Adeleke Samuel to speak on the topic “Leadership Roles of Nurses: Clinical and Beyond”. The session also sets out to debunk the misconception that Nurses are not leaders, and do not climb the ladder of leadership in the society. Outlined below are notes from the session.
It’s a remarkable privilege to stand among the elite and share insights on nursing and leadership. Before we dive into this crucial topic, I must extend my gratitude to the founders and leaders of this initiative for their invaluable contributions to the nursing profession. Today, I will briefly explore the theme of “Leadership Roles of Nurses; Clinical and Beyond.”
Nurses as Natural Leaders:
Let’s start by acknowledging a fundamental truth: every nurse is a leader by default. Regardless of what others may think or believe, we must recognize that all nurses are, in fact, leaders. But how do we assume this leadership role? It’s by working diligently to influence the behavior of patients and clients, directly or indirectly, to achieve optimal health outcomes. Therefore, it’s imperative that we embrace this leadership responsibility and strive to become better leaders in our profession.
Excellence is Key:
As leaders in healthcare, our excellence is paramount. Communities rely on us for health-related knowledge, and any deficiency in our knowledge could potentially mislead patients and compromise their well-being. Therefore, continuous learning and improvement are essential to maintain the trust placed in us by those we serve.
Expanding Leadership Horizons:
While bedside care is essential, nurses are capable of assuming leadership roles in various other domains. This brings us to the critical point raised in this forum: the need for nurses to become more engaged in politics. The impact of politics is felt across all sectors, including healthcare, and having nurses in government positions can bring about positive changes.
Notable Nurse Politicians:
There are examples of nurses who have successfully transitioned into political roles. Notable instances include Mr. Hassan Mohammad, a nurse who served as the former deputy Governor of Zamfara state, and the former Governor of Kwara state appointing a nurse as the commissioner for health in 2018. More recently, the Executive Governor of Sokoto State appointed three nurses as commissioners, demonstrating the versatility of nurses in leadership positions.
Personal Leadership Journey:
I’d like to share my own leadership journey, which began during my undergraduate days. Starting early in leadership roles allowed me to gain valuable experience and build a track record of leadership. Whether you aspire to enter politics or excel in academics, early preparation and involvement are key to success.
Supporting Nursing Leadership:
Even if you don’t plan to pursue a leadership role personally, you can still contribute by supporting nurses who do. Nursing needs strong advocates at decision-making tables, and by rallying behind nurse candidates, we can ensure that our profession’s voice is heard.
In closing, it’s essential to remember that nurses are leaders, everywhere we go. We should embrace this identity and be vocal advocates for our profession. As young nurses, we must prepare ourselves to take on leadership roles when the opportunity arises. Mentorship and unity within the nursing community will be vital in shaping a brighter future for nursing. The mantle is indeed coming, and we all have a part to play in advancing our profession. Thank you all for your time and dedication to the nursing profession.