Discuss the importance of inter-professional communication as a nursing leader.

Discuss the importance of inter-professional communication as a nursing leader.

Discuss the importance of inter-professional communication as a nursing leader.

Leadership Styles


Autocratic leaders make decisions with little input or consultation from their employees. These hands-on leaders are quick thinkers and are great at delegating tasks and giving directions.

Strengths: Autocratic nurse leaders work well in emergency situations. It is also useful when enforcing legal policies and medical procedures that protect patient health and safety.

Weaknesses: Because this leadership style can be associated with negative reinforcement, these leaders are less effective at building team camaraderie, developing trust, or having open communication.

Autocratic nurse leaders should be sure they keep communication lines open with staff and be aware of their staff’s strengths and capabilities. They should allow team members to voice their opinion, concerns, and ideas without being condescending.


Laissez-faire leaders offer minimum amounts of supervision and take a “hands-off” approach. While they promote creativity and ingenuity, they typically don’t provide guidance or direction. You can often see this type of leadership style among new or inexperienced nurse leaders.

Strengths: Due to lack of micromanaging, highly-experienced or self-directed nurse teams can thrive under this type of leadership style. Laissez-faire leaders work well in home healthcare and hospice environments, where nurses are highly confident in their skills and can work independently.

Weaknesses: The Laissez-faire leader encourages employees to set their own goals and solve any issues. New or inexperienced nurses and nurses who need more guidance or hand-holding don’t do well with laissez-faire nurse leaders.

Laissez-faire leaders should ensure their employees practice safe and competent nursing.



Democratic leader

A democratic leader encourages feedback, involvement, and communication from team members. Their style is collaborative. They encourage personal and professional growth and focus on team success.

Strengths: Their style works well in improving quality and processes. This nursing leadership style works well in quality assurance and performance improvement roles and diversity and inclusion roles.

Weaknesses: When a rapid response is needed in an emergency medical situation — like when a patient codes — these leaders may find it difficult to make quick, independent decisions. Democratic leaders need to be careful to maintain decision-making authority.

Nurses who enjoy getting in-depth feedback, want to grow professionally, and actively participate in decision-making and changes work well with democratic leaders.




Transformational nurse leaders are visionary. They build engaged teams and are beneficial in facilities where significant changes are needed, such as improving overall patient care. For example, a 2019 study of 17 hospitals in Pakistan showed gains in employee satisfaction may reduce rates of patient care errors. A recent Belgian study also demonstrated improvements in the safety performance of nurses due to transformational leadership.

Strengths: Transformational leaders work well with new nurses, as they are great at  mentoring , instilling trust, building confidence, and encouraging teamwork while encouraging nurses to act independently. They listen to ideas and concerns and are usually highly respected leaders in an organization. Transformational leaders work well when a hospital, clinic, or other facility needs improvement.

Weaknesses: While studies have shown that transformational leadership skills drive high employee satisfaction and retention, it is less effective in facilities where the leader is responsible for day-to-day decision making.

Transformational leadership is one component of the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Magnet Model . According to the American Nurses Association (ANA) transformational leaders, “must lead people to where they need to be to meet the demands of the future.”




Servant leaders are relationship-oriented and focus on individuals’ needs. These leaders ensure employees have the skills, tools, and resources they need to achieve goals. They are highly involved in employee development.

Strengths: Servant leaders create goal-driven environments, and nurses who like working with diverse teams and environments will do well. New nurses work well under servant leaders, as these leaders are patient and empathetic. Servant leaders work well in nurse educator, staff development, and clinical leadership roles.

Weaknesses: Servant leaders put the team’s well-being over their individual needs or goals but should be sure they keep sight of the facility or organizations’ strategic objectives.

Servant nurse leaders are great listeners and prioritize empathy. They build trust and develop teams.

Though the term “Servant Leadership” was coined by Robert K. Greenleaf in 1970, the concept has existed for much longer. As someone who served a worthy cause for ‘the greater good’ and prioritized empathy and awareness, many associate  Florence Nightingale  with the servant leadership philosophy.


Healthcare is constantly changing. Situational leaders work well in healthcare because they are flexible and modify their leadership style based on an organization or individual nurse’s needs. These nurse leaders analyze the situation and then determine the appropriate approach. Situational leaders are among the most adaptable of the leadership styles in nursing.

Strengths: Situational leaders work well with nursing students in clinical settings.

Weaknesses: Situational leaders often divert from an organization’s long-term strategies or goals.

Situational leaders can freely change their management style. They work well in a flexible environment.