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Combining Nurse Leadership With Advocacy

The healthcare system is both complex and dynamic considering the increasing demand for patient safety and quality assurance (Cramp & Carson, 2009). Sims (2009) has reported that health care organizations are now advocating nursing leadership to address the current challenges. As such, it is essential for every health professional to reflect on their professional development. This action is crucial to ascertain if nurses possess the requisite attributes to meet the current and future demands (Cherry & Jacob, 2013). This self-reflective essay will explore personal strengths and weaknesses using the nurse executive competencies proposed by the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE, 2006). The paper will conceptualize how the present leadership capabilities influence the advocacy for change.

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Personal and Professional Accountability

Nursing accountability mandates nurses to work competently and ethically by following the established standards and guidelines ((AONE, 2006). I rate myself as being competent in this area. My main strength in this section is that I possess the requisite skills to provide safe and quality care to patients. For example, I employ the five rights of medication administration to prevent adverse drug events. Nonetheless, I do acknowledge that my novice skills are not sufficient to address the present challenges adequately. Despite this limitation, I am adept at reviewing emerging evidence, which is critical to support evidence-based nursing practice (Lubejko, 2014). I have subscribed to various medical and nursing journals where I receive timely information about the new evidence.

Career Planning

The nursing profession continues to experience unparalleled changes, which necessitates continuous education (Neddleman & Hassmiller, 2009). I rate myself as being competent in this area. My greatest strength in this section is that I have developed and honed crucial skills in research. I firmly believe that clinical research will play a fundamental role in revolutionizing the nursing practice. As such, I plan to advance my education in a research specialty. Conversely, my limited skills mean that I require more time and effort to become an expert in this area. I am addressing this weakness by forming professional and mentorship networks. Mentors will help me to understand the current and future needs in order to map my career path.

Personal Journey Disciplines

One of the elemental aspects of personal journey disciplines is feedback because it helps individuals to reflect upon their successes and failures (Cherry & Jacob, 2013). I rate myself as being competent in this area. My strength in this subject matter involves my willingness to learn from my mistakes. In addition, I value positive criticism as the benchmark for assessing my abilities. I always take the time to reflect on my failures as a means of identifying the areas that require improvement. I also seek guidance and support from my superiors, mentors, and colleagues to improve my skills. However, I have realized that I spent too much time on these activities at the expense of socialization. Although nursing is a demanding career, I understand the health effects of engaging in social activities.

Reflective Practices Reference Behaviors/Tenets

Reflective practices influence the overall performance at the workplace (AONE, 2006). The complex nature of the healthcare industry implies that health professionals have to work cohesively to achieve success (Needleman & Hassmiller, 2009). My principal strength in this area is that I have developed sound interpersonal skills. These competencies enable me to work within diverse teams efficiently. I also work efficaciously with people from different cultures, ethnicities, races, and disciplines. I also have the ability to motivate and encourage others to reach their full potential. By contrast, I often encounter challenges when dealing with patients from a dissimilar ethnic backgrounds. Nonetheless, I am currently working towards improving my cross-cultural communication competencies. In general, I consider myself a novice because I still have much to learn before I attain the position of an expert nurse leader.

Change Advocacy Using the Current Leadership Skill Set

I will employ my current leadership skill set to promote effective interprofessional communication in the workplace. Nursing care is a collaborative function that brings together health professionals from distinct disciplines. Cohen and Hiligoss (2010) have identified the inadequate transfer of vital information during handoffs as one of the prominent causes of errors. According to Cohen and Hiligoss, efficient communication during patient handover represents one of the most significant aspects of safety and quality care. As such, I will use my leadership skills to oversee the development of acceptable clinical governance structures and communication channels. These systems will be essential to enhance clinical outcomes by pursuing one goal.

Personal Goal and Implementation Plan

My first leadership goal will entail the development of foundational thinking skills. The realization of this goal will involve making organizational decisions using scientifically sound evidence rather than personal intuitions and prejudices. Evidence-based practice has emerged as a critical component of decision-making in clinical contexts (Lubejko, 2014). As such, I will maintain eagerness and curiosity to explore new ideas and knowledge. Secondly, I will utilize the gathered information to analyze issues critically prior to developing solutions. Thirdly, I will acknowledge the role of personal views, values, and beliefs in decision-making processes.

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The second leadership objective will focus on promoting systems thinking approach as a valuable resource for solving nursing problems. System thinking has increasingly become a fundamental component in finding solutions to healthcare problems. The core of this methodology is that different variables affect the delivery of health care services (Cramp & Carson, 2009). Firstly, I will consider how individual decisions affect the entire health care organization. This goal is crucial because one wrong decision can affect have widespread repercussions for the health system as a whole. Secondly, I will strive to integrate and synthesize divergent viewpoints to ensure cohesion.


American Organization of Nurse Executives. (2006). AONE nurse executive competencies. Web.

Cherry, B., & Jacob, S. R. (2013). Contemporary nursing: Issues, trends, and management (6th ed.). St. Louis: Elsevier.

Cohen, M., & Hiligoss, P. B. (2010). The published literature on handoffs in hospitals: Deficiencies identified in an extensive review. Quality and Safety in Health Care, 19(6), 493-497.

Cramp, D. G., & Carson, E. R. (2009). Systems thinking, complexity and managerial decision-making: An analytical review. Health Services Management Research, 22, 71-80.

Lubejko, B. G. (2014). Improving the evidence base of nursing education programs. Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 45(8), 336-337.

Needleman, J., & Hassmiller, S. (2009). The role of nurses in improving hospital quality and efficiency: Real-world results. Health Affairs, 28(4), w625-w633.

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Sims, J. M. (2009). Styles and qualities of effective leaders. Dimensions of Critical Care Nursing, 28(6), 272-274.

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