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Emotionally Intelligent Nurse Administrators

Effective nurse administrators can reshape healthcare, serving as catalysts for change. Their role is not confined merely to managing resources or ensuring smooth workflow but extends to being mentors and role models for younger nursing professionals. Critical to this multifaceted role is the development of emotional intelligence (E.I.).

Sharpened emotional intelligence skills enable nurse leaders to adapt to varying situations and effectively engage with others. In a dynamic field such as nursing, emotional intelligence has proven to be a cornerstone for success. Advanced nursing degrees, like an online Registered Nurse (RN) to Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) – Nursing Administration program, can equip nursing professionals to hone their emotional intelligence skills and apply them in the workplace.

What Is Emotional Intelligence?

A concept often used in the scope of leadership, E.I. is the ability to understand, use and manage emotions positively to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict. Emotional intelligence also involves the capacity to recognize, understand and influence the emotions of others, which is imperative in personal and professional relationships.

An article published in the Open Journal of Nursing lists the five key elements that define E.I.:

  • Self-awareness: The ability to recognize and understand one’s own emotions and their effects. Individuals with high self-awareness are conscious of how they feel and how their emotions can affect their actions and decisions.
  • Self-regulation: This involves adapting to changing circumstances and managing emotions in a way that allows individuals to express themselves effectively and appropriately.
  • Motivation: People with high emotional intelligence tend to be resilient and optimistic. They can work consistently towards their goals despite obstacles and setbacks.
  • Empathy and relationship management: This is the ability to understand, share and respond to the feelings of others. Emotionally intelligent individuals can understand the emotional states of others and respond appropriately, which is a vital skill in building and maintaining relationships.
  • Social awareness: This involves managing relationships to move people in the desired direction, which includes effective communication, leadership and conflict resolution. Individuals with strong social skills are typically team players who can navigate social interactions and build positive relationships with a range of people.

Nursing Clinics, a significant voice in the nursing field, has underscored the importance of these skills. In its discourse, E.I. in nurse administrators aids in decision-making, conflict resolution and communication.

Emotional intelligence allows leaders to make informed decisions that consider the feelings and needs of the team members. It promotes a collaborative approach to conflict resolution, which reduces the likelihood of workplace hostility. The clarity in communication enabled by emotional intelligence is crucial in transmitting directives and expectations, fostering a culture of transparency.

What Does the Research Say?

The Open Journal of Nursing article also reveals the benefits of E.I. within the nursing profession. The article asserts that emotionally intelligent nurses are more adept at managing stress, burnout and fatigue. It further indicates a positive correlation between emotional intelligence and job satisfaction, thereby reducing turnover rates in the nursing profession.

Another attribute of emotionally intelligent nurses highlighted in the research is their ability to establish and maintain productive interpersonal relationships. These connections with patients, families and colleagues foster an environment of mutual respect and understanding, which is pivotal in delivering quality healthcare.

Moreover, a review of literature available from the National Library of Medicine reinforces these views. The study emphasizes that emotionally intelligent nurse administrators are pivotal in patient satisfaction. Their empathetic approach and ability to manage emotions and recognize the effects of their reactions, even in high-stress situations, contribute to a positive patient experience.

Emotional Intelligence Can Be Learned (and Honed)

Emotional intelligence will always be a vital component of nursing leadership. As the demands of the healthcare field continue to evolve, the cultivation of emotional intelligence among nurse administrators will remain paramount in ensuring the provision of high-quality, compassionate healthcare. To prepare for an environment necessitating E.I., nurses can seek educational opportunities.

The Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) online RN to MSN – Nursing Administration program includes a Healthcare Policy & Social Justice course. While it is not strictly about E.I., the course helps students gain a culturally competent perspective about other populations and ethical issues in patient care. Culturally competent nurses gain emotional maturity and perspectives when working with various populations.

In fact, one 2021 study found that emotional intelligence and cultural competence are connected: those with high emotional intelligence “…can efficiently manage their responses and maintain control over their emotions…[and] individuals with higher emotional intelligence will facilitate higher cross-cultural competence….”

TAMIU’s program equips nurse administrators with the management and conflict resolution tools to succeed in leadership roles. Depending on one’s preference and flexibility, students can complete the coursework in as few as 18 months, an accelerated pace that allows nurses to jumpstart their careers and apply E.I. to their patient interactions.

Learn more about TAMIU’s online RN to MSN – Nursing Administration program.

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