5 Top Skills Needed for Hospital Clinical Directors

A clinical director sets the tone for the work culture and should have a strong leadership presence. What skills are hospitals or clinics looking for when hiring a clinical director? You should possess these five qualities before applying for a clinical director position.


  1. Communication skills. A clinical nurse director must have excellent communication skills because a clinical director interacts with patients, staff, colleagues, and executive leadership. She collaborates with her co-workers and leads by example. She’s not afraid of confrontation and has the communication skills necessary to find solutions. A clinical director also will have good listening skills, using active listening whenever possible to ensure a productive conversation.
  1. Team builder. Being able to build camaraderie and a cohesive unit is vital for the success of the hospital. A clinical director must identify talent and maximize individual skills for the team’s good. He also develops emerging leaders and inspires the team to work together. Also, a clinical director should know how to manage teams and draw out the best work from everyone.
  1. Crisis management expertise. A clinical director must stay calm under pressure while being agile and flexible in stressful circumstances. She needs critical thinking skills and the ability to apply those skills to sticky situations. A clinical director should be able to resolve conflict in a way that’s respectful to all parties involved. In addition, she needs to assess potential risks as well as provide workable solutions to problems.
  1. Passion for the mission. It’s essential for the clinical director to both understand and embrace the hospital or clinic culture. This enables him to move the team forward to accomplish goals that further the hospital's overall mission. He also has compassion and empathy for the patients under his supervision and his team members. A clinical director must also ensure high work quality while fulfilling the hospital's mission.
  1. Detail oriented. A clinical nurse director has a lot of documentation to keep up with, so having an organizational system and a fine eye for detail is a must-have for this position. Managing the day-to-day operations requires creating work schedules, overseeing medical billings, drafting budgets, and filing forms. Because a clinical director works closely with upper management and staff, she ensures the hospital or clinic staff is efficient and on-task to meet goals and budgets.

A clinical director is a crucial position within a healthcare facility, ensuring the smooth operations of the clinical components. These five skills are essential to a clinical director’s success in reducing the administrative burden on medical staff to free them to focus on meeting the healthcare needs of patients.

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