Nursing Leadership: Isaac and Holiday Conflict

Nursing Leadership: case of Isaac

In the case of Isaac’s behavior, the responsibility rests on the shoulders of the assistant nurse manager to keep the efficiency of the unit. On the one hand, Isaac remains one of the senior nurses of the unit with satisfactory patient care. As a new assistant nurse manager, if you try to go and challenge Isaac head-on, it will cause serious concerns among the senior staff of the unit. On the other hand, the three junior nurses who wish to join the unit look up to you as a leader, and ignoring their concerns will deprive the unit of some good young members.

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What you can do as an assistant nurse manager is to make a formal meeting with Isaac and explain the situation to him. Offer him counseling and direct him to some personal relationship program (Cherry & Jacob, 2016). Explain to him that he is a valuable member of the unit and you do not wish to lose him.

If he is not willing to accept his shortcomings, you can arrange a unit meeting and discuss the proper and improper interpersonal actions (Mensik, 2013). Try not to target Isaac by name but discuss some of his unacceptable behavior. Show other staff members that you are trying your level best to reason with him without humiliation him in front of the unit.

After all these actions and if Isaac continues to act the way he does, your next option is to complain to your senior nurse manager that you find it difficult to run the unit with Isaac’s irresponsible behavior.

As the nurse manager, you must be able to counsel Isaac to find out the major problems. Maybe, he is finding that the other members are not committing as much as he does. Or he may feel that they have not enough knowledge. Try to find out whether there is some truth to these concerns. If he is making allegations on the factual evidence, you better act on those and try to improve the work of other members at the same time.

Isaac has certain behavioral problems that make him act in an antisocial manner. You must offer him to take part in a personal relationship program to improve his interpersonal skills. Offer his counseling and guidance to overcome his problems. It is always best to work in a friendly manner and not to forget that Isaac remains one of the senior members of the staff.

Management: holiday conflict

The problem is two-sided. First, you do not know the staff that well. You can be unaware of employees’ relationships. The staff members also know about this and will try to take advantage of the situation. As a new nurse manager, you are forced by the desire to make a good impression and get on the good side of your staff members. And your staff members need to take a break in the holidays. Pleasing everyone is impossible and you are forced to make tough decisions not to do injustice to anyone (Clipper, 2013).

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The positive consequences of this situation are that now you have a clear chance to carefully evaluate each member of the staff (Bateman, Edwards, & Hanchey, 2012). Some of them will be very selfish and demanding, while others will be generous and willing to cause you no trouble. You can easily figure out those of whom going to be of trouble to you in the future. This will help you in future decision making.

On the negative side, the disharmony among members is not going to be good for the day to day functioning of the unit. Ward work is a team task and when the members are not willing to cooperate, the entire structure can rapidly come down. This is a nightmare to any nurse manager as there will be no end to peace negotiations and you will have no time left for anything productive.

The safest route to take is to go by the seniority and allocate holiday leaves. Each member will get a certain number of leaves. Once assigned, it is up to them to make mutual exchanges and arrange them among themselves and you will stay out of minor adjustments.

However, this approach is associated with certain risks as it can lead to various conflict situations and even an unfavorable working environment. Some members of the unit can even leave due to their dissatisfaction (Clipper, 2013). Besides, you will still have to interfere as you are responsible for managing conflicts and ensuring the proper atmosphere in the unit. To avoid such situations, it can be reasonable to use a random selection of dates for all members of the unit. If someone needs particular dates, they can change shifts or take additional days off or even vacation. This approach will help you make sure that no preferences or bias could occur. Members of the unit can also accept this decision as they will know that everyone is treated equally. Of course, there can be people dissatisfied with this decision, but you will be able to stress that you have the authority to make such decisions.


Bateman, N., Edwards, D., & Hanchey, N. (2012). Skill development for managing change, conflicts, and relationships. In N. Bateman (Ed.), The business of nurse management: A toolkit for success (pp. 197-219). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.

Cherry, B., & Jacob, S. (2016). Contemporary nursing: Issues, trends, & management. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Health Sciences.

Clipper, B. (2013). The nurse manager’s guide to an intergenerational workforce. Indianapolis, IN: Sigma Theta Tau International.

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Mensik, J. (2013). Nurse manager’s guide to innovative staffing. Indianapolis, IN: Sigma Theta Tau International.

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