Nursing Leadership Reflection
Leadership in Nursing
Important Factors of Effective Leadership in Nursing
Leadership in general can be described as a social process where an individual influences others to offer their efforts towards the realization of a common goal regardless of the settings in which it is practiced. Leaders should be charismatic, visionary, and transformational to align with the goals and culture of an organization (Sellars, 2013). Therefore, nursing leaders should be trustworthy and proficient in their practice.
Abilities, such as problem-solving skills are central to nursing leadership. Nursing as a profession involves practitioners with formal training in the field and in practice, which provides the knowledge to address difficult issues in real life settings. The context where the leadership takes place has some impact on how complex challenges are resolved and how strategies for providing direction to subordinates are initiated. An intuitive manager is aware of these salient elements experienced in decision-making.
Apart from direct clinical practices, a nurse leader should empower and guide other nurses. In addition, the values and beliefs of nurse leaders should reflect those of nursing practice (Sellars, 2013, p. 14). They should also enhance the operational functioning of their unit in addition to providing high-quality care. Ultimately, these factors are critical when improving the quality of nursing care and patient outcomes.
Skills and Attributes that are Essential to Nursing Leadership
Personal attributes are significant in the development and practice of leadership. Macphee, Skelton-Green, Bouthillette and Suryaprakash (2012) aver that leaders often have some inherent qualities, such as charisma, trustworthiness, reliability, and the ability to influence others and achieve a common goal. As the contention often arises on whether leaders are born or made, I believe that these attributes can be inculcated through training and practice.
In evaluating my nursing leadership potential, I am aware that in addition to some innate leadership qualities, I have also acquired some fundamental characteristics in my years of training, which have prepared me to become a leader in the nursing profession. One of these qualities that I have always been proud of is the ability to solve problems in critical situations. The leadership environment at home, work, and other areas cultivated my ability to recognize issues and at the same time find ways to address them. In fact, this quality is invaluable in nursing leadership where problems often occur, but the cause remains hidden and elusive. Being able to look further into the causality ensures the long-term effectiveness and sustainability of the solution implemented.
Formal education and training have enhanced my decision-making ability. During my nursing training, I had an opportunity to inspire and provide a sense of direction to others whenever we encountered challenges. Beyond my professional work, I have also developed leadership and management qualities in social contexts, which prepares me to handle both professional and nonprofessional individuals in a work setting.
Furthermore, being empathic and compassionate are other attributes critical to nursing leadership. The nursing context involves dealing with people that are in great pain and suffering. The ability to understand their feelings will enable me to respond more compassionately, thus, leading by example.
Attributes I Wish to Develop Further to be a more Effective Nurse Leader
Following specific orders and requirements will assist practitioners to be aware of the goals, objectives, and approaches of an assignment. Such information is obtained from the leadership through effective communication channels. The ability to communicate goals and objectives concisely enhances leadership (Macphee et al. 2012). As much as I am a relatively effective communicator, I should develop this quality further to become an outstanding nurse leader. The nursing context is a discipline that requires high levels of accuracy. Having the ability to communicate my expectations in a given task would offer more effective practice and superior care. Being a better communicator will enhance understanding and eliminate mistakes caused by misinterpretations of facts that often risk patients’ lives.
Plan for Leadership Development
One-time education or training is rarely adequate in any professional field. Kvist, Tahka, Ruotsalainen, and Tervo-Heikkinen (2014) recommended that continuous development is the key to sharpening skills, gaining experience, and acquiring new and latest knowledge, leading to improved performance. My plan for leadership is based on three areas, namely experience, ongoing education, and training. I intend to proactively seek situations that provide me with opportunities to develop my leadership skills, especially in the nursing context. I feel that it is not enough to have knowledge and skills about leadership, but the constant application of skills in real-life settings is the key to identifying leadership gaps and improving current knowledge.
On training, I will attend leadership conferences, seminars, and workshops, which will equip me with knowledge of the latest trends, and research in nursing leadership. Those platforms will allow me to collaborate with other practitioners in the field. Finally, enrolling in more formal courses in a professional institution will expand my knowledge about effective leadership in general and within the nursing context. Through ongoing education, I will recognize my leadership shortcomings and improve on them through practice.