Leadership Skills You Can Gain Through a DNP-ENL Program


If you are pursuing a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) – Executive Nurse Leader program, then you are positioning yourself for a rewarding career at nursing’s top level. A future job in an executive role brings with it many valuable opportunities to influence the healthcare system and quality of life for patients. 

While pursuing your education, the leadership skills you gain will help you do the best job possible. Upon graduation from DNP leadership programs online, you will have a vast skill set that prepares you to excel in the field of healthcare.

Building Valuable Teams

In a leadership role, you will be responsible for creating teams that communicate well with one another, and with you too. You must also keep those teams strong over time. This ability is more important than ever, as well as more difficult, during a health crisis, such as the COVID-19 outbreak.

To be most effective, teams of two or more people must share a purpose that they are all working toward. Also important is clearly assigning responsibilities to each member and understanding how it applies to the team’s mission. High-functioning teams share values of:

  • Honesty
  • Discipline
  • Creativity
  • Curiosity
  • Humility

Understanding how to create a teaming strategy to plan how team members work together, as well as how to use technology to communicate most effectively, is part of what you can expect to learn in DNP leadership programs online. You can expect to be pivotal in the healthcare organization you work for soon.

Conflict Management Skills

In addition to improving team-building skills, students in a Doctor of Nursing Practice – Executive Nurse Leader program can also expect to learn techniques to handle conflicts effectively. This training makes sense as with any big workforce. You can expect a range of personalities that can potentially clash, especially in a stressful hospital environment.

To best manage employee conflicts, nurse leaders must understand the nursing code of ethics. Specifically, you must understand how nursing ethics apply to behaviors and mindsets to determine what is the best solution in a difficult situation.

As new conflicts arise, a nurse executive must also be able to create new policies that mitigate negative attitudes while encouraging positive ones. It is for the sake of both the organization overall and patient care.

Deep Understanding of Health Care Operations

Part of being an effective leader is understanding how health care facilities deliver safe, quality care to patients. Only by enrolling in DNP leadership programs online at a well-respected school can you, as a future nursing leader, understand how complex health care businesses are – and your big role in improving peoples’ lives.

For example, students can expect to learn:

  • How to create or alter an efficient business strategy based on data analysis, as directed by classroom instructors who are experts in their field
  • Current trends in care delivery to see how to change with different environments to continue to meet sick peoples’ needs

Collecting Patient Feedback

The feedback of patients is vital to improving the practices of those who work in healthcare and the patients. Among the duties of a nurse exec is to create a patient experience program to gain insights about patient satisfaction and analyze the results. 

Leading discussions of patient feedback is an important task. Thus, when taking DNP leadership programs online, you will learn how to gain knowledge of patients’ perceptions of care to create strategies for positive change. 

Among the ways to gather data about patients’ experiences are:

  • Surveys, by phone or online
  • Focus groups
  • Social media conversations

Also, reviewing patient complaints can be very telling of what is working or not. The information collected can be essential to change.

Evaluating Patient Outcomes

Outcome measurement is also an important part of a nurse leader position. Analyzing the effect of nurse practices on patient outcomes, to promote health, is vital to preventing injury and illness.

Taking proper action based on careful assessments can remove unnecessary suffering, so doing this data analysis, and doing it correctly, is a big responsibility. To make sure the data is collected accurately, nurses in leadership roles must design rules by which this process is done.

Furthermore, you must make sure that these protocols are flexible enough to apply to a range of patient cases. Lastly, your responsibilities include communicating the plan to nurses to ensure they follow it.

Leadership Skills to Foster

At every level of nursing, leadership is important in providing quality care. The safety of the patients depends on it.

By completing DNP leadership programs online, students will learn ways to be better leaders in healthcare to benefit both organizations and patients. As a leader one day, you will stand for the future of nursing and have the power to evoke positive change. 

Now, more than ever, it is important to have influential team leaders who also understand how to analyze big data to improve quality care. From developing systems to providing better coordination of bedside attention, there is a lot on the shoulders of nurse leaders.

Taking Care of Themselves Too

To be at your best in the medical field involves you and other nurse leaders taking care of yourself as much as your team or risk burning out and not being able to provide direction as effectively as hoped. Within a solid educational program, you will learn to balance a growing knowledge base with your ability to adjust how it affects your personal life. 

The result can be nurse leaders who are:

  • Confident and competent on the job
  • Deliver quality healthcare services at any time of day
  • Follow nursing ethics, even when no one is watching 

Lastly, it’s important to note that leadership is a lifelong endeavor and DNP-ENL graduates would be wise to expect to have to stay current on healthcare practices and trends to provide services that meet patients’ needs effectively.

From leadership theories to values, and team-building to time management and stress management, there is a lot to learn in DNP leadership programs online. You can look forward to a rewarding career that can truly make a positive difference in peoples’ lives!

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