Nursing is one of the important constituents of the medical sphere, as it ensures sufficient collaboration and interaction between service providers and patients. Thus, the concepts of nursing continued to expand its boundaries while covering more and more duties, tasks, and responsibilities. Nowadays, being a nurse is associated with not only providing high-quality care but also with being a highly recognized and respected political and social leader. The modern concepts of a nursing leader imply being able to mentor, guide, motivate, and stay innovative and active (Hamric, Hanson, Tracy, & O’Grady, 2013). Having these characteristics is critical, as, without them, a medical specialist will not be effective, and this matter will lead to low productivity and insufficient time management and planning. Only with the assistance of these traits, a nurse can pay attention to key values including advocacy for patients and active participation in the development of different health-related policies (Hamric et al., 2017). Overall, nurses have to be viewed as competent service providers while also becoming valuable members of society and change agents.
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Consequently, the primary goal of this paper is to understand the concepts of leadership in nursing and put them into practice with the help of real-life examples. The paper will unveil the working mechanism of the concepts associated with the qualities of a leader, leadership domain and model, and the ability of the leader to promote cultural diversity and collaboration and use an array of strategies to mitigate conflicts at the working place. In turn, the analysis will also include self-reflection that will help apply different theoretical dogmas in practice. In the end, conclusions will be drawn to summarize the main findings of the paper and restate its purpose.
Qualities and Characteristics of Selected Nursing Leader
To establish a foundation for discussion, for this assignment, I selected advanced nursing practice, as the major responsibilities of this nurse imply combining managerial tasks and medical assistance defined by evidence-based practice (Fagerstrom, 2012). These professionals are irreplaceable components of the modern healthcare system that ensure high quality of the provided services and attain to prioritizing patient-centered care (Fagerstrom, 2012). Along with that, I am interested in pursuing a career in this sphere, and it is another reason for choosing this kind of nursing. For this task, I interviewed Jennie Reds, who tended to be a nursing leader in one of the hospitals and works as a family nurse practitioner in Miami, Florida. Working in this area requires a rapid response to unexpected changes in the environment and conditions of the patients, as the actions of a nurse define the levels of safety and the ability to provide high-quality care promptly.
Based on the factors mentioned above, personal characteristics and behavioral patterns of a nurse have to comply with the main duties and aspects of this nursing sphere. When evaluating the characteristics and qualities of Jennie Reds, I can say the utmost admired ones pertain to her ability to react rapidly to different situations, motivating and inspiring others, being an active role model, and showing interest in optimizing service-delivery schemes while expressing ideas and statements precisely and clearly. Along with that, Reds is able to pay vehement attention to advocacy for patients and being an active leader in policy development. As for the textbook, it depicts that an effective nursing leader has to promote the shared vision, collaboration, and development while aiming at changing processes in a positive way and setting high quality as a priority (Hamric et al., 2017). It could be said that these characteristics entirely comply with the concepts mentioned in the textbook and assist in the understanding that Reds is one of the brightest examples of nursing leaders. Nonetheless, Reds should consider opportunities for improvement, become more flexible, and encourage idea sharing among her colleagues.
Along with that, the characteristics and behavior of nurses assist in understanding and identifying leadership domains that comply with her specialization. In this case, her behavioral patterns entirely meet the terms of a unique blend of depicted domains such as clinical, professional, and systems leadership. For example, observing Reds’ behavior and having a conversation with her show that she prioritizes patients as key elements of the value delivery chain. These values comply with the ideas of clinical leadership, as it focuses on setting quality standards and safety of the provided services as key values while being able to learn from other professions and successfully implement this knowledge into practice (Hamric et al., 2017). Apart from that, according to this domain, a nursing leader has to work in a collaboration with other team members and become an intermediary when delivering and interpreting messages to different nursing practitioners and areas of subordination (Hamric et al., 2017). These characteristics are entirely reflected in the actions of Jennie Reds and define her as a representative of the clinical leadership domain.
In turn, Reds’ features also show that her personality and behavior comply with the principles of professional and systems domains. A professional one states that every nurse has to be able to successfully work with colleges and understand the situations when mentorship is necessary (Hamric et al., 2017). It partly interferes with the ideas of clinical leadership, but it also implies that a nurse should be involved in a diversity of interdisciplinary practices and coalitions to foster professional development and recognize new talents (Hamric et al., 2017). In this instance, some principles of this domain are reflected in Reds’ behavior, as she states that self-education and mentorship are important elements that help build her personality and make her a competent specialist. Nonetheless, Reds is not currently involved in different coalitions, but she is eager to participate in them to contribute to the growth and development of her workplace. As for systems leadership, it focuses on the sufficient maintenance and coordination of various systems in the hospital setting while actively collaborating with the patients and other employees to discover gaps and propose solutions, and Reds reflects these concepts in her behavior by showing initiative and proposing various adjustment to the current processes (Hamric et al., 2017). Overall, Reds has certain parts of these domains reflected in her behavior, as they have a tendency to overlap and co-exist while becoming essential aspects of nursing leadership.
At the same time, to understand the application and key principles of leadership in nursing, it is necessary to refer to the most appropriate definition. Generally speaking, leadership is the ability of the individual to guide the group and help it reach the organizational goals (Al-Sawai, 2013). In this instance, it could be assumed that the behavior of Jennie Reds can be described with the help of situational leadership. This concept implies that the actions of the leader are highly dependent on the environment while a person can stay flexible and use a diversity of techniques to reach the desired outcomes in different contexts (Hamric et al., 2017).
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The primary reason for selecting this type is the fact that Reds considers herself a leader, but she also tries to change her attitude and become the one, who is mentored. It allows her to build trusting relationships with other members of the team while learning from them and putting new knowledge into practice. Pursuing this strategy assists her in aiming at self-development and growth. Nonetheless, Reds has to consider focusing on gaining more understanding of transformational leadership, becoming more flexible, and putting a combination of these concepts into practice, as they will help her gain a clear perception of the main traits of a nursing leader. Overall, understanding the Reds’ leadership style with the help of definition unveiled additional insights into the application of these ideas in nursing.
In turn, describing the leadership model is critical since it can help discover essential components of leadership in nursing. In this case, researchers and theorists propose an array of frameworks such as the Fifth Discipline and a Framework for Spread (Hamric et al., 2017). They review leadership and its application from slightly different angles. When referring to the example of Jeannie, her behavior and understanding of leadership mostly comply with the First Discipline model that implies focusing on the advancement of personal skills, understanding behavior and mental models of other individuals, promoting shared vision, and paying vehement attention to sufficient collaboration in teams (Hamric et al., 2017). These concepts are reflected in Jeanie’s actions such as motivating others and giving priority to integrity to maintain quality at high levels. In turn, with the help of this model, Jeannie can be very effective as a leader since her vision not only assists in reaching her individual goals but also helps enhance the performance of the team and, as a consequence, increase the satisfaction of the patients. Using this approach is beneficial to the overall financial stability of the hospital, as it promotes the concepts of patient-centered care.
At the same time, it is of paramount importance to review the ability of the selected nurse and leadership style contribute to the development of the cultural diversity, as nowadays, medical professionals have to communicate in the multicultural environment and respect the needs of patients and employees with dissimilar backgrounds (McClimens, Brewster, & Lewis, 2014). It will assist in creating a favorable environment, reaching integrity, and promoting tolerance and mutual respect. For example, when communicating with patients, Jeannie tries to consider their cultural background and discover their attitude towards religion to help them overcome stress and deal with different nursing diagnoses. Nowadays, many nurses and students experience difficulties, and it is hard for them to satisfy the needs of the patients due to the differences in language and gender (McClimens et al., 2014). Consequently, having these characteristics makes Jeannie a nursing leader with a unique set of skills.
Along with that, Jeannie tries to communicate with employees and learn something new about their cultures. In this case, she can be discovered as both follower and a frontrunner. This idea entirely complies with the concept of professional leadership domain and situational one, as being able to understand and take opportunities to be mentored and learn are the definers of these styles (Hamric et al., 2017). In this case, Jeannie promotes cultural diversity by having conversations with colleagues about their backgrounds and culture and learn from others the ways to interact with people from different nations. For example, she had a conversation with the family with Asian origin and created a brochure about their culture. Additionally, she organized intercultural evenings several times for her colleagues and discussed the importance of diversity.
Handling Controversy in Working Settings
In turn, along with that, another essential characteristic of any leader is the ability to mitigate conflicts and find the most relevant solutions to different issues. Currently, medical education attempts to prepare students for the different ethical issues and conflicts that may take place during their practice as doctors by paying substantial attention to the development of moral reasoning (Luchetti, Oliveira, Leite, & Luchetti, 2014). Apart from living in a highly democratic and tolerant society, various dilemmas and controversies still incur in the medical sphere.
Not being able to deal with these situations can be discovered as a potential cause of misunderstanding in teamwork and low employee and customer satisfaction (Overton & Lowry, 2013). To resolve these issues, Jeannie relies on the concept of situational leadership, as it implies the necessity to review every case individually (Carlton, Holsinger, Riddel, & Bush, 2015). In this instance, Reds discovers the position of each participant, tries to decrease tensions between them, and finds an optimal solution to the problem. For example, a patient complained to her about the absence of empty parking lots, and they found a relevant solution by reporting the issue to the management and suggesting ways to improve the scheduling of the hospital to avoid this problem. Another problem was related to miscommunication between the patient and the nurse, and she clarified the matters to the patient.
At the same time, one cannot imagine any leadership style without being able to create an atmosphere of integrity and underline the significance of interdisciplinary collaboration and desire to work together as a team to reach organizational goals. This matter is highly critical in the medical sphere, as constant collaboration is required to ensure that high-quality and safe services are provided to the patients promptly. When being a family nurse, this characteristic is of paramount importance, as often, it is necessary to involve multiple professionals from different spheres to state the right diagnosis (Goldman, Meuser, Rogers, Lawrie, & Reeves, 2010). This idea complies with the principles of professional and clinical leadership domains while interdisciplinary leadership is one of the most advanced and cherished skills in the nursing practice (Hamric et al., 2017). Consequently, promoting collaboration can be viewed as another critical element of a successful nursing leader.
In this case, Jeannie distributes tasks effectively between different professionals when additional assistance is required (e.g., when the diagnosis is uncertain, or additional consultancy in a particular area is necessary). For instance, the symptoms of the patient were unclear, and Reds consulted another professional for assistance. In turn, a patient was diagnosed with pneumonia, and she worked together with another professional due to his specialization in this area. Meanwhile, she views every member of the decision-making group as an equally valuable component since they have different sets of competencies and can make autonomous decisions. This aspect complies with the concepts of shared vision and the ability to become a mentee to expand understanding of unknown fields (Al-Sawai, 2014). Overall, consulting others, building bonds between different professionals, and creating a favorable environment for collaboration between various medical personnel and patients help Jeannie promote interactions and underline the significance of patient-centered care.
Generally speaking, it could be said that the previous sections of the paper provided a sufficient overview and analysis of Jennie Reds as a leader while helping me understand my advantages and disadvantages in this segment. I can define myself as a leader, who prioritizes high quality, development, and professional growth and understands the paramount importance of advocacy from patients, optimization of processes, flexibility, and collaboration. Nonetheless, I am not always able to reflect these characteristics in my behavior, and I want to work on their development in the recent future.
In this case, I aspire to clinical and professional domains, as they cater to the main aspects of the nursing profession and assist in aligning with the ideas of patient-centered care. Along with that, they underline the paramount importance of continuous learning and working in teams. As for the model, I think the First Discipline is the most suitable concept, as it combines the ideas of self-learning and development. Nevertheless, apart from the positive aspects of situational leadership, I aim at becoming a transformational leader, as this style will assist an individual in becoming highly motivational and inspiring. In turn, I will respect diversity by learning from others about their cultures and discovering representatives of different ethnicities as sources of knowledge. Additionally, I will try to organize different cultural events such as International Healthcare Day or Importance of Diversity in Healthcare and have interviews with people to create manuals that can be used at my workplace such as How to Inform the Representatives of Different Cultures about Their Conditions.
In turn, I will resolve controversies by discovering both sides of the conflict such as a patient, nurse, and misunderstanding between them concerning the most appropriate treatment. I will solve it by explaining the relevance of prescription from the theoretical perspective and help the patient find an insurance provider to cover the costs of the medication. In turn, if the issue covers the actual problem of the hospital such as the absence of parking lots, I will report it to the management and inform the patient about the outcomes. Lastly, as for collaboration, in the case when the diagnosis is unclear, I will consult competent professionals and promote this behavior by my example, and I could encourage other patients to seek assistance if necessary while trying to organize different educational sessions and events to promote this behavior.
In the end, this paper helped me understand the key concepts of leadership in nursing with the assistance of the analysis of the practical example – Jeanie Reds. She as an active and enthusiastic nurse, who gives priority to patient-centered care and promotes shared vision and collaboration. Her behavior complies with the ideas of situational leadership and a combination of clinical, professional, and systems domains, as her behavior and role are dependent on the situation while in her actions, it is possible to see the enthusiasm, motivation, and paramount importance of patient-centered care. The First Discipline that covers personal development, teamwork, and shared vision simultaneously defines her values and priorities while she also attempts to discover different sides when resolving conflicts, deliver ideas to management, promote diversity by writing manuals about communication with representatives of different cultures, and consult other professionals when additional assistance is required. Overall, I would consider Jeannie Reds as a bright example of a nursing leader and take new opportunities for development.
Al-Sawai, A. (2013). Leadership of healthcare professionals: Where do we stand? Oman Medical Journal, 28(4), 285-287.
Carlton, E., Holsinger, J., Riddel, M., & Bush, H. (2015). Full-range public health leadership, part 2: Qualitative analysis and synthesis. Frontiers in Public Health, 3(1), 174.
Fagerstrom, L. (2012). The impact of advanced nursing in healthcare: Receipt for developing countries. Annals of Neurosciences, 19(1), 1-2.
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Goldman, J., Meuser, J., Rogers, J., Lawrie, L., & Reeves, C. (2010). Interprofessional collaboration in family health teams: An Ontario-based study. Canadian Family Physician, 56(10), 368-374.
Hamric, A., Hanson, C., Tracy, M., & O’Grady, E. (2013). Advanced practice nursing. An integrative approach. St. Louis, Missouri: Elsevier Saunders.
Luchetti, G., Oliveira, L., Leite, J., & Luchetti, A. (2014). Medical students and controversial medical issues: Results from the multicenter study SBRAME. BMC Medical Ethics, 15(1), 85-91.
McClimens, A., Brewster, J., & Lewis, R. (2014). Recognizing and respecting patients’ cultural diversity. Nursing Standard, 28(28), 45-52.
Overton, A., & Lowry, A. (2013). Conflict management: Difficult conversations with difficult people. Clinics in Colon and Rectal Surgery, 26(4), 259-264.