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How an MSN Builds Leadership Skills for Successful Nursing Careers


Illustration showing how an MSN degree builds the necessary leadership skills for a successful career in nursing.

Nurses are at the center of care delivery. Deeply involved in every step of the caregiving process, nurses are not only depended on in medical capacities, but also in leadership roles.

Working in clinics and hospitals can be a hectic rush between patients, lab work, administration and everything else involved. And that is exactly why leadership skills are necessary. Every professional in the nursing field can benefit from sharpening their leadership skills. Being able to coordinate care and ensure patient safety requires nurses to be leaders, as does managing a team of nursing peers.

Many pursue a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) to bolster leadership traits in order to advance their careers. Entering a graduate nursing program can get nurses the education they need. Here’s how:

A Master’s Degree Prepares Students for Leadership Roles

First, completing a graduate nursing program can open doors to positions in higher levels of management for which leadership is essential. Secondly, nurse administrators, nurse educators and clinical nurse leaders must all be capable of critical decision-making, a job responsibility that students often prepare for with continued education.

The Curriculum is Focused on Cultivating Leaders

A key way graduate nursing programs instill leadership skills in students is through the curriculum. A good program will not only focus on the soft skills that make up leadership (e.g., interpersonal communication, decisiveness and mindfulness), but also how the topic of leadership is interwoven throughout nursing.

Elmhurst College addresses these concepts through many of its courses. One such course is Theories in Nursing and Clinical Leadership and Clinical Leadership in Role Development.

Experiential Learning Reinforces Leadership Skills

Finally, learning about leadership is only the first step. Gaining experience in applying that knowledge is just as crucial. Graduate nursing programs often satisfy this requirement by offering practicum opportunities for students. Such chances allow students to deploy their leadership skills in practical settings, as well as in policy, research and innovation of care or organizational improvements.

Obtaining an MSN is important for advancing a nursing career. Therefore, finding the right school for you is equally vital.

At Elmhurst College, students will find a program designed to help them build credentials, skills and experience needed to excel in the nursing profession. Leadership is an important theme, and something the Elmhurst MSN program reflects throughout.

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Posted January 14, 2019

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