Leadership in Nursing: Treatment Options for Patients

Introduction

The most effective leaders are able to empower their followers, both emotionally and mentally. Choosing the most suitable leadership style for healthcare environment is crucial for ensuring better patient outcomes and creating a positive emotional climate in the team. Nursing professionals may benefit from transformational leadership as it fosters the achievement of shared goals by fulfilling the personal needs of each member. Combined with some elements of servant leadership, this particular style could reinforce the overall efficiency of the team.

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An Evaluation of Leadership Strengths and Weaknesses

Given the challenges of the sphere, leadership in nursing should be a combination of various leadership qualities. As a leader, my strengths are the ability to motivate others and adaptability, which are the characteristics of a transformational leadership style. Exhibiting transformational leadership is very promising for nursing as this leadership style enables effective dealing with challenges faced by nursing professionals daily. According to Rivers et al. (2011), transformational leadership “identifies and communicates vision and values and asks for the involvement of the workgroup to achieve the vision” (p. 49). This leadership style creates a positive climate in the team and inspires others to not only grow personally and professionally but also take responsibility and sharpen their analytical skills.

Along with the benefits of transformational leadership, its intensiveness has specific prerequisites for the manifestation of some common challenges. Namely, frequent performance on the edge of one’s capabilities may result in compassion fatigue and burnout (Rivers et al., 2011). As a leader, my responsibility will be to empower the team with the approaches, tools, and techniques for preventing and overcoming burnout and compassion fatigue to maintain professionalism and personal well-being of each nurse in the group.

Transformational leaders tend to focus on common good while making sure that every team member’s needs are satisfied. However, such leaders do not always have a positive impact on the team, which happens when they are more focused on self-realization. It is the case of a “pseudo-transformational” leadership, which emerges as a result of the lack of consideration for others (Dion, 2012, p.18). It is possible to mitigate the negative effect of such leadership by incorporating some elements of servant leadership.

I possess some characteristics typical of servant leadership style, such as responsibility for ensuring the desired outcome and self-awareness. According to Muthia and Krishnan (2015), “transformational leadership could be a moderator for the effect of servant leadership on followers’ affective and normative commitment ” (p.13). Likewise, some elements of servant leadership can potentially present the manifestation of any sights of pseudo-transformational leadership, which is crucial for successful leadership in nursing.

Along with my strengths, I possess some weaknesses, which I would like to develop in the future. The qualities that I would like to improve are charisma and resilience. I believe that I lack charisma, which stands on the way of me becoming a full-fledged transformational leader. Similarly, my lack of resilience may hamper my ability to objectively evaluate the situation under extreme pressure, which is something I am trying to address with various techniques for coping with stress.

Leadership Characteristics and Change Management in Nursing

Change management capabilities are critical for every leader in healthcare and nursing in particular. The need to respond to a number of challenges requires leaders to manage treatment and patient care, facilitate optimal family involvement, as well as cope with organizational issues in hospitals simultaneously. As a nursing leader, I will be expected to coordinate the resolution of various problems and ideally prevent some of them from happening without sacrificing the quality of patient care and the well-being of all the team members.

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Employing a combination of transformational and servant leadership will be the most effective approach to addressing the change management needs in healthcare settings. According to Robinson (2016), leaders need to be flexible to be able to adjust to environmental changes. A combination of leadership styles mentioned above proves to be extremely helpful in increasing trust and building a stronger bond between the leader and the followers (Muthia & Krishnan, 2015). As opposed to focusing on a single leadership style, these strategies could potentially improve outcomes in various spheres. It will allow me to appeal to the rational and emotional chord in others to inspire them to take action towards achieving their personal goals, which align with the common good.

Personal Leadership Characteristics and Interdisciplinary Relationships

Each leadership style presumes a specific approach to facilitating collaboration among the followers and nudging them into taking action. Transformational leadership is ideal for managing interprofessional teams as it empowers followers and motivates them to reveal their full potential. They are more likely to take responsibility for their decisions, and they are also willing to use more effort towards finding the best solution in a given situation.

Transformational leadership can be extremely useful in building and maintaining collaboration both within and across disciplines. Since it has been possible to trace a connection between some adverse consequences of hospitalization and ineffective interdisciplinary communication, ensuring cooperation is key to successful treatments and high-quality patient care (Basic et al., 2018). The study conducted by Basic et al. (2018) on the evaluation of the effect of SIBR (Structured Interdisciplinary Bedside Rounds) has demonstrated that the new models of patient care might not necessarily bring positive results. It has also shown that low family participation rates during SIBR could be the cause for reduced efficiency of this method. Therefore, the opportunities for a transformational leader might go beyond the interdisciplinary connections. As a leader, I will attempt to increase the involvement of family members into patient care, which might contribute to the effectiveness of treatment.

Applying the Principles of Ethical Leadership

Any leadership style is built on a specific representation of reality, which allows making conclusions on what behavior is ethical. In this regard, the ability to apply principles of ethical leadership is paramount for ensuring the best outcomes both for patients and for each team member. As a transformational leader, I will stick to Kantian ethical theory and adhere to principles of deontology. The first principle, as explained by Dion (2012), states that “nothing could be considered as a moral principle if it is not a principle for all people” (p. 13).

Hence, the actions of each nursing professionals must be based on the universal moral grounds and are to be dictated by the best interests of the patient. According to the second principle, “nobody must ever be treated purely as a means (an object, a tool) to reach the personal aims of other people” (Dion, 2012, p. 13). Similarly, this principle appeals to ensuring fundamental human rights, which is key to the work of any healthcare facility.

As a transformational leader, I believe that I possess the necessary qualities to motivate my team to act by their duty, which is ensuring proper patient care at all times. Yet, I would like to develop the ability to foresee the consequences and possible outcomes of decisions related to patient care. It would help me to maximize the effectiveness of treatment and become better at solving problems, which require more profound knowledge and professional experience.

Diversity and Inclusion in Nursing

The leader’s ability to incorporate the values of diversity and inclusion creates a supportive emotional climate in the team and therefore ensures better patient care. Unlike any other leadership style, transformational leadership enables followers to work towards achieving a shared goal by serving their self-interests. As noted by Gotsis and Grimani (2016), “the need for inclusive leader behaviors Leaders displaying a personal interest in concrete followers embody relational diversity concerns in their way of leading” (p. 254). When a leader demonstrates respect for diversity and provides support to ensure more inclusion within the team, the entire group tends to exhibit similar behavior, which results in positive interpersonal relationships within the team.

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The study on the impact of ethnic diversity on the performance of the group conducted in 2012 by Greer et al. has shown that “leaders displaying visionary behaviors but refraining from social categorization fostered positive outcomes” (Gotsis & Grimani, 2016, p. 248). Since transformational leadership is one of the most suitable approaches to fostering positive diversity-related outcomes, I believe that I will be able to apply transformational leadership qualities to address diversity and inclusion in the healthcare environment effectively.

Research Skills and Critical Thinking in Nursing

Research skills are essential for effective leadership and decision making in health care and nursing in particular. They help nursing professionals to find better solutions to handling patient-related cases by applying the research findings in real-life situations and replacing outdated methods with more effective approaches. Next, they foster better patient outcomes and ensure more effective change management. Finally, the research skills combined with proactiveness and critical thinking guide effective decision making and foster integrity in nursing practice.

Conclusion

Transformational leadership is one of the most effective leadership styles for the healthcare environment. However, it demonstrates even better professional outcomes when combined with servant leadership. The nursing leader must ensure that the team is committed to searching for the most appropriate treatment options for patients, as well as remain a valuable member of the group by working towards a shared goal. It is possible to achieve such results by choosing the most suitable communication style.

References

Basic, D., Huynh, E., Gonzales, R., & Shanley, C. (2018). Structured interdisciplinary bedside rounds, in-hospital deaths, and new nursing home placements among older inpatients. Clinical Interventions in Aging, 13. 2289–2294.

Dion, M. (2012). Are ethical theories relevant for ethical leadership? Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 33(1), 4-24.

Gotsis, G., & Grimani K. (2016). Diversity as an aspect of effective leadership: Integrating and moving forward. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 37(2), 241-264.

Muthia, A., Krishnan, V. R. (2015). Servant leadership and commitment: Role of transformational leadership. International Journal on Leadership, 3(1), 9-19.

Rivers, R., Pesata, V., Beasley, M, & Dietrich, M. (2011). Transformational leadership: Creating a prosperity-planning coaching model for RN retention. Nurse Leader, 48-51.

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Robinson, J. L. (2016). Connecting leadership and learning: Do versatile learners make connective leaders? Higher Learning Research Communications, 6(1).

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