5 Reasons Why Caregivers and Nurses Are Afraid To Lead.

Caregivers and nurses Afraid to lead

Don’t necessarily avoid sharp edges. Occasionally they are necessary to leadership.”

  Donald Rumsfeld

A number of caregivers and nurses are afraid to lead.

The thought of being in charge of the shift or managing a department is terrifying.

You come up with different reasons and excuses as to why you would rather not be the chief.

In this article I want us to look at some of the reasons you give for being afraid to lead.

Decision Making

Many of you are afraid of making decisions on behalf of others.

You tend to have thoughts like, “what if the decisions are not the best?”  You are afraid of being blamed.

You care about what your coworkers will say and you do not want everyone talking about how you made such a terrible decision.


Some of you fear taking risks.

You may be afraid of asking your employer to purchase new equipment because you do not want to upset them.

Others are afraid of standing up for their staff.

If management comes up with some ridiculous expectations you are too afraid to speak up.

You would rather just be the silent none participating employee when it comes to decision making, than stick out and be the one that raises your voice to say something.

3.     Confidence

Some of you are afraid because you tell yourself that you do not have what it takes.

You lack the confidence.

You come up with all sorts of excuses like, ‘I am too shy or I do not have the skills required.’

‘Nobody will respect me and so on.’

These are excuses you give and you are quite happy to live with them.

4.     Conflict

Wherever there is a situation where there are two or more human beings, there is always the potential for conflict.

Leaders will always have to deal with conflict.

Dealing with conflict is not the best thing and is not fun.

You would rather let someone else deal with it.

You would rather just go to work silently and work in peace and when your eight or twelve hour shift is over, you go home without ruffling any feathers.


5.     Communication

Some of you have poor communication skills.

Instead of working on improving your skills, you would rather remain happy with your poor skills.

Some of you have really loud voices and you know that you need to improve on that.

Others can hardly be heard when they speak.


Realizing that you do not have the best communication and that if you lead others you may need to work on this weakness makes you shy off and you chose to stay away from leadership.

Should you get over your fear and decide to lead, you may actually be a very good leader.

Good communication is learnt and can easily be improved upon.

You may be denying yourself a golden opportunity because of fear.


I would like to hear some of your reasons for not leading.



  1. Ann Najjar says:

    Because I am a new nurse and just getting to know the policies and procedures (and politics), my confidence level is not where I wish it could be. I only have to be patient, and learn and observe in order to develop the confidence I need.

    I am definitely not happy with where I am and I will strive to excel. My learning curve is obviously different than other’s learning curves. I just hope that people will be patient with me until I get where I need to be.

    • Joyce says:

      Thank you for sharing Ann.
      When you are a new nurse it is a little different. There is so much to learn.
      Sometimes the politics of an institution comes in the way if you allow it. It can interfere with your learning curve.
      When you are in a new place, focus on the positive people who will help you.
      Ignore the negative ones because they will discourage you.
      As your skills get better with practice, you find that things are not as difficult as they were in the beginning.
      All nurses have been where you are at one time. It will get better.