There has been emphasis on power in the past. A number of questions have been aired some of which are: what it is, how to obtain it, how to make use of it, and finally how not to drop it. The distress for power is as a consequence of nurses, as a group, feeling incapacitated. Power has been clearly been characterized and delimited in terms of the personal characteristics of those with power; positional source of wealth of the power holders; communal relationships of power holders and power beneficiaries; power to direct or determine over insufficient assets; and in conditions of the interrelation of conscious and unconscious processes and emotions that determine personality and motivation of power relationships (Gabarro 1978, 298).
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On critical investigation of power and leadership in nursing practice one will give credit to Sister Carol Keehan, one of Barack Obama most powerful and influential nurses.
Sister Carol Keehan has been an aspiration and influence to health care practice with her hard and dedicated service. She is as a result an influence to healthcare in the American government reform Act policy. Due to her motivational power and leadership influence in health care provision, she was selected as the top list member in the President Barack Obama’s reform act policy.
With Sister Keehan’s power and leadership ability she was able to influence the practice of nursing by categorically pointing out to nurses on how to design healthcare reform with the aid of Rosalie Silber Abrams work which is still in place at the moment.
Sister Keehan used her leadership role in nursing practice to influence the American power dictators to realize that the health care system should be centred on Social insurance for the ill and injured and not profit-making, she instituted, and made sure that all patients would contribute to the rate of assistance care.
Sister Keehan as an inspirational leader in one of her fight further asserted that “A nurse-designed structure would certify excellence staffing, high-quality integrated set of attitudes and beliefs, and continuing learning. Keehan pointed out on fairness in her imagined nurse-planned method, noting, “A nurse-planned arrangement would likely persist on the quality of being clear and transparent in both quality and fee, and would provide a scheme that would stop market powers from determining policy assessments that health wants should control.
In line with Sister Keehans leadership and power abilities in health care provision one will analysed both power and leadership as relationships as stated by Burns 1978. Sister Keehan clearly characterized and delimited power as the method by which a person has as an attribute, knowledge, or skill of certain intentions and aspirations, has the capacity to secure changes in the behaviour of others and in the environment. This is done by utilizing resources in one’s power base which may include economic, political, institutional, or personal skills. This definition implies that power is a relationship among people. It involves the intention or purpose of both the person with power and the recipients of the power. Hence, power is done by characteristic of individuals acting together. Thus, power in qualitative change leadership is best viewed as a means to get things done rather than as a conclusion in itself.
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Power has three constituents: a) The drive and assets of the authority holder, b) the motivations and reserves of the power recipient, and c) the relationships among all these.
In the above equation, the intentions of a nurse manager may be to offer all nursing staff an improved wages. However, the resources to accomplish this goal are not in attendance in the healthcare system today or in the near future.
Daft (2003) noted that whereas each and every specialized division of a large organization makes an exceptional involvement to managerial success, some involvements are wider in scope or importance than others. He further identified the following structural determinants of power (p. 667):
- Power is formed or developed from reliance: Power appears from being in possession of something that another individual wants or requires and being on control of the presentation to obtain what is mandatory
- Power is obtained from giving something useful or necessary to resources: Organizations considers as an obligatory a systematic provision of resources such as a group of people willing to obey orders, money customers, and technology in order to keep or maintain its operations.
- Power is obtained from being extremely rare: Members must not only allow for an essential supply for the organization but also thwart themselves from being restored without much difficulty.
- Power is obtained from the aptitude to have an effect on the decision process: For the reason that decisions are made in a chronological process, it is likely for an individual to get hold of power because of his or her ability to influence the premises of essential principles used in making conclusion.
Nursing leadership is in the best place to go ahead of the way to an efficient leadership reform in health care organizations (American Nurses Association 2001b).
American Nurses Association (2001). Scope and standards of nursing informatics practice. Washington, DC: American Nurses Publishing.
Burns, J.M. (1978). Leadership. New York: Harper and Row.
Daft, R.L. (2003). Management. 6th ed. Mason, OH: Thomson South-Western
Gabarro, J.S. (1978). The development of trust, influence, and expectations. In Interpersonal behaviour: Communications and understanding in relationships, ed. A.G. Athos and J, S. Gabarro. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.