What Is nursing leadership? How do we define an effective leader? These are questions at the fore front of every nurse whose optimal goal is to provide the highest quality of safe care to the patients and families who have entrusted their care to him or her. It is difficult to encapsulate the word leadership by merely attempting to define It.
As nurses, we are constantly asking ourselves, how do we become more effective in delegating the care of the patients? How do I advocate for the patient? Ultimately, how can I elevate the standard of care of those who practice with me within the same physical environment as well as to how do I improve the practice of my peers? The questions we pose to ourselves and to others represent the fundamental traits of a leader. A leader is one who sees the need for change, improvement, innovation and advancement.
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How we develop and nurture our innate traits is when we are recognized as effective leaders. As with most life events, situations are changing without anticipation during the delivery of nursing care and en must be versatile and flexible to respond and adapt to the changes as they occur; thus for the purpose of this document is to present the significance of the application of the situational leadership theory in my nursing practice.
Rationale for Theory During self evaluation of my leadership style, I completed a significant research concluded that as an emergent and growing leader, my fundamental traits are well in alliance with The Hershey-Blanchard Situational Leadership Model, since I adapt to any situation and rely heavily on team work, evidence based practice and I welcome roof decision making.
The principles of the Hershey-Blanchard situational leadership model, rest on the premise that there is no exclusive style of leadership and that the leader chooses the best course of action and their leadership style is dependent on the situational variable as well as the follower maturity level (learnedness. Com). Hershey and Blanchard believe that leaders should be flexible and adjust their styles as followers and situations change over time.
This frame work approach to leadership not only supports leadership development through versatility ND application of various leadership styles, it is also a great tool in clinical development of leadership capabilities amongst nurses as it presents opportunities to voice once learned experiences as well as evidenced based knowledge acquired through formal schooling, or by doing and observing.
Touchstone (2009), advocates that the situational leadership framework assist in the development of staff using a range of reflective supportive processes. According to touchstone, the skills of the leader are flexibility, diagnosis, and communication to ascertain the development level, competency and commitment of the individual (2009).
An example of the situational leadership theory in action can be appreciated during a cardiac arrest event when the nurse leader responds to the patient needs (situation) by initiating a call for assistance , delegating task to other nurses such as, assigning a nurse as a medication nurse, another as a recorder and another as a runner as well as assigning another staff member to respond to other patient calls on the unit when the emergency situation Is taking place (this example is representative of an autocratic leadership style).
This same nursing leader seeks collaboration and he opinion from the staff members in the implementation of new policies and procedures for responding to cardiac arrest events as well as other protocol adaptation (this is an example of democratic leadership style). Present and Future Of Nursing Leadership Nursing leadership continues to evolve as the profession grows. Nurses have the potential to develop, nurture and apply effective leadership skills throughout their career regardless of the environment.
By the nature and foundation of the profession, an effective nursing leader must be able to adapt to the changes in healthcare quality and cost. This adaptability supports the growth of nursing leadership. The future of nursing leadership is limitless due to the advancement of the nursing career and the need to set high, none the less, attainable goals. The willingness and the ability to take on high responsibility demanding task by the nursing leader supports leadership in nursing, thus better health outcomes.
We need more nurse to be leaders in the future for the development of creating climates that supports positive patient outcomes and retention of good nurses. To understanding and implementing evidence-based practice of managing projects and ND managing change . Conclusions Throughout the bachelor degree program, my leadership style has not been influenced in any way, however throughout the years, my leadership style and skills have been enhanced and nurtured by the leaders I have been mentored by and those who through their assertiveness and well developed leadership skills, demand respect and followers.
What I have learned in this class, through literature review, is to identify the type of leader I am and how communication with my peers as well as my subordinates can be viewed or interpreted. I also learned that being a leader is ore an art than a science. It is a quality that is called emotional intelligence, which is found to be a common thread among leaders.
Throughout my reading I understand that a leadership roles includes, decision making, a communicator, a facilitator, a mentor, a coach, a teacher, a risk taker, a critical thinker, a changer agent a role model and most of all a influencer. Effective leaders are task oriented, they has the ability and the willingness to take responsibilities for any task that is set forth for them, they conformed to any and every situations and they are successful cause of their ability to self control, redirect others and think before they act.