Leaders play a critical role in the management of organizations. According to Somech (2006), leaders are tasked with the role of managing teams in order to ensure that organizations achieve their strategic goals. In order to achieve the set goals, leaders apply different leadership approaches. The type of leadership and the context determines the success of the organization (Frankel, 2008). Effective leadership in the health sector ensures that the nurses and the support staff work towards efficient and quality healthcare provision to patients (Hutchinson & Jackson, 2013). The following paper is an analysis of leadership in nursing. The analysis is based on an interview conducted with a nursing leader in a hospital.
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Differences between Leadership and Management
First, the interview sought to know the differences between leadership and management. The interviewee pointed out that leadership entails making people believe a specific vision of success. Leadership is about making people work with the leader in order to achieve a common goal. Thus, leaders make people to follow them. On the other hand, the interviewee noted that management is about fulfillment of administration activities and ensuring that operations of an organization are running as planned. For example in the hospital setting, managers are tasked with the role of ensuring that the daily operations of hospitals and nurse work units are appropriate.
According to Huber (2010), nurse managers need to put in place strategies that streamline the hospital environment. For example, they initiate recognition programs that make the nurses feel valuable and appreciated. In addition, managers ensure that there is good organizational culture that enhances the productivity of all employees and upholds their work conditions (Scott & Miles, 2013). On the other hand, leaders are tasked with inspiring and motivating employees through a positive work environment. They have clear visions that they make their followers to believe. For example, the nurse leaders provide support, motivation, and direction to nurses.
Differences between Leadership Theories and Styles
In this case, the motivation is by providing rewards or punishments Theories entail a framework that can be used to determine components of leadership. As a result, there are different leadership theories that explain the different contexts of leadership. Examples of the theories include the situational theory, transformational leadership theory, contingency theories and transactional theories. Some of the theories explained during the interview included the transformative leadership theory and the transactional leadership theory. The transformational leadership theory stipulates that work environments should encourage communication that takes place in all directions (Hutchinson & Jackson, 2013). Thus transformational leadership encourages a participatory approach to solving issues. The followers are encouraged to provide suggestions and to actively participate in the decision-making processes (Huber, 2010). The transactional theory stipulates that the leadership power stems from the authority. The leadership style that is based on the theory is the transactional leadership. Unlike the transformational leadership, communication is in one direction. The leader gives instructions in which the follower.
Changes Made in Leadership Style
The interviewee noted that the leadership employed should conform to the organizational structures. For example, sometimes there is need to integrate different leadership styles in order to achieve the desired goals. According to Somech (2006) the integration of the styles enables leaders to offer solutions to complex issues, improve their quality as well as the required service to the organization’s customers. In order to ensure efficiency, the nurse leaders are supposed to adopt different leadership approaches and behaviors. Therefore, leadership style is based on the dynamics in the workplace.
Challenges Faced as a Leader in Today’s Health Care Systems
In the today’s health care system, the leader noted that there are many challenges. The work environment has been a major issue that has resulted in leadership challenges. For example, leaders need to keep on devising leadership strategies to deal with the challenges related to shortage of staff, nurse turnover, increased workload, and safety concerns. The shortage of nurses has also been aggravated by the numbers of nurses who are retiring and who are leaving because they are not satisfied with work systems. Thus, leaders are faced with the challenge of ensuring that there is ample environment that ensures quality healthcare provision.
Models of Leadership Practiced
Based on the response of the interviewee, the nurse leader uses transformative leadership style. This entails the use of participative approach to solving issues in the organization and ensuring that all the followers work as required. Sometimes, leaders find it difficult to command or demand attention from their juniors especially when they are required to work as a team, solve complex issues, or even provide quality service to the customers. In such a scenario, a participative leadership style provides the best leadership option. According to Curtis, Vries and Sheerin (2011), the transformative leadership approach is suitable when there is a need to create a good work environment. In addition, Hutchinson and Jackson (2013) stated that participative leadership helps leaders relate well to their employees.
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Important Values a Nurse Leader Should Emulate
Nurse leaders play a critical role in ensuring that patients receive holistic care. This is achieved by proving the right leadership that motivates nurses. As a result, there is the need to adopt good work values and ethical standards that enhance the work environment. For example, nurse leaders should emulate values that uphold commitment to accountability, compassion, and professionalism. Bearing in mind the work environment in the nursing units, the core values that leaders should emulate are wisdom, humility, service, integrity, courage and the desire to make a difference. Being humble allows the leader to approach any challenges with more caution and wisdom, and prevents rushing into decisions that are not interrogated.
There are different leadership theories that form the framework for the leadership styles to be adopted. The adoption of a leadership style should relate to the work conditions. The nursing work environment presents a unique work environment that requires effective leadership in order to ensure holistic care for the patients and to satisfy the nurses providing the care. The pertinent information gained from the interview about leadership profession will positively influence my career in the nursing field. The interviewee enlightened me on the challenges that nurse leaders face in the contemporary work environments. For instance, the challenges of working in areas with few nurses and safety concerns require leaders to use their leadership values in order to encourage employees. I realized that leaders need to motivate their employees in order to ensure that they deliver quality care. To achieve this goal, I gained knowledge about the various leadership styles that I can apply to achieve motivated teams. This will be critical in my future practice as a nurse.
Curtis, E. A., Vries, J., & Sheerin, F. (2011). Developing leadership in nursing: exploring core factors. British Journal of Nursing, 20(5), 306-310.
Frankel, A. (2008). What leadership styles should senior nurses develop? Nursing Times, 104(35), 23-24.
Huber, D. (2010). Leadership and nursing care management. Philadelphia: Saunders Elsevier.
Hutchinson, M., & Jackson, D. (2013). Transformational leadership in nursing: Towards a more critical interpretation. Nursing Inquiry, 20(1), 11-22.
Scott, E. S., & Miles, J. (2013). Advancing leadership capacity in nursing. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 37(1), 77-82.
Somech, A. (2006). The effects of leadership style and team process on performance and innovation in functionally heterogeneous teams. Journal of Management, 32(1), 132-15.