What Leadership Skills Do Nurse Practitioners Need?

June 20, 2022

What Leadership Skills Do Nurse Practitioners Need?
What Leadership Skills Do Nurse Practitioners Need?

Nurse practitioners can be invaluable leaders in the healthcare profession.

Despite having similar responsibilities to that of a physician, they work with patients who are not necessarily in critical condition.


A nurse practitioner’s clinical judgment is respected by their peers and leaders, which may lead to a larger scope of influence within the workplace.

There are many skills involved with being an effective leader, as well as many opportunities for nursing professionals to develop their leadership skills because of their great value as trusted clinicians in all levels of leadership positions.

What is a Nurse Practitioner?


A nurse practitioner is an advanced practice registered nurse who has been given the authority to provide some aspects of primary care.


The practice of nursing encompasses two core values: autonomy and professionalism. The ability to treat a person in their role as all individuals have the intrinsic, inherent worth of a person and should be valued for themselves, but also for what they can contribute to society, is part of the profession’s ideals.


Nurse practitioners are able to see patients with many chronic medical conditions and use their skills in both clinical care (diagnose and treat) as well as planning and decision-making.


The Importance of Leadership Skills in the Current Healthcare Setting


In the current healthcare setting, nurse practitioners are expected to be influential leaders in the professional and clinical settings.


Leaders in this profession have many responsibilities, and many nurses train for years in order to take on better leadership roles.

Taking a program like the DNP Executive Leadership program is a great way to improve your skills, but it is also good to have experience in which to apply your leadership skills.

Nurse Practitioner as a Leader: What are the Primary Skills for Success?


The role of a nurse practitioner is an integral part of the interdisciplinary healthcare team.

The ability of the nurse practitioner to possess strong leadership skills will not only promote the required roles and responsibilities associated with the job but will also help provide for patients’ needs.

In a leadership position, nurses must master the following:



The ability to delegate is an important skill that is a fundamental part of the professional nurse practitioner’s job. Delegation is a key factor in providing satisfactory care to patients.

Communication Skills

Communication is crucial not only between the nurse practitioner and other healthcare professionals but also with patients and their families as well.


Collaborating with other healthcare professionals to provide quality care is an important leadership skill that should be spearheaded by all leader types, including nurse practitioners.

Problem Solving

Leader nurse practitioner skills include being able to effectively solve problems. This skill will help the nurse practitioner and colleagues in the healthcare team to effectively determine action plans that will satisfy patient needs.


Invention and Innovation

Inventiveness and innovation are important qualities for all healthcare professionals, especially leader types like nurse practitioners.


Nurse leaders need to be able to motivate their staff to carry out tasks and to be productive. Motivating your team is a skill that will help solve problems, develop new ideas and also increase productivity.


Leadership skills, especially those of a nurse practitioner, must include a passion for the job. Passion makes the nurse practitioner more inclined to succeed in their career as well as makes them a valuable leaders in the team.


Possible Future Opportunities of Nurse Practitioners in Leadership Positions

Nurse practitioners are a trusted source of clinical expertise in all healthcare settings.

The role of the nurse practitioner has shifted from just providing patient care to taking on a larger role in terms of being an interdisciplinary leader.

Nurse practitioners are currently able to practice in primary care, hospital, and other clinical settings.

While the future for nurse practitioners is promising, the nursing field is expected to see many changes because of the rapidly evolving healthcare environment, with more nurses seeking advanced roles and responsibilities.

With more responsibilities comes greater influence, and this influence will lead to many leadership opportunities for nurse practitioners.

Effective Ways to Improve Your Skills


While in nursing school, nurse practitioners are taught the basic skills required for leadership positions.

Applying these basic skills is a necessity.

There are many opportunities to use leadership skills and develop more advanced skills while in practice bases learning those basic skills.

For instance, some of the leadership roles that nurse practitioners may take on can be confirmed through in-house mentoring programs as well as online courses.

Nurse leaders need to keep current on trends in clinical practice and healthcare management, which will help them improve their leadership skills.

There are many opportunities for nurse practitioners looking to develop their leadership abilities, and not all of them will be found in formal educational settings.

Practice Better Management of Clinical Procedures

Nurse practitioner roles are varied, and there are different specialties to be a part of.

The clinical procedure of the nurse practitioner involves taking care of patients, but it also includes management roles in terms of overseeing staff and making sure that healthcare processes are carried out effectively.

You have to have good knowledge about managing healthcare procedures and efficient nursing practice in order to be an effective nurse practitioner leader.

The Future of Nurse Practitioners as Leaders in the Health System

With the increasing demand for healthcare services, nurse practitioners are going to play a very vital role in the future of health systems.

Nurse practitioners with leadership skills will help empower others in the nursing field, which will lead to increased responsibilities and roles for other members of the nursing team.


The nurse practitioner is one of the most sought-after and highly sought-after individuals in the healthcare industry.

Leadership is a vital and critical aspect of the role that nurses play in general, and the leadership skills that they possess will help them to establish themselves as valuable and important members of their healthcare team.

While nurses are now able to specialize, there are still cases where many are forced to work as primary caregivers.


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