Nursing Leadership Reflection Paper Example Essay

In redesigning the U.S. health care, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) puts a specific emphasis on the nursing leadership. Nurses who possess highly developed competencies can provide creative change at all levels of the healthcare system. To supply quality patient care by implementing necessary change strategies, nurses should have the capacity to collaborate in every place in the system. These collaboration skills together with the demand to coordinate, integrate, and facilitate the team performance comprise the essence of full partnership. The latter lies at the core of the successful professional performance of advanced practice nurses (

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On a similar note, the need to change, reform, and restructure health care is vital in many countries of today’s dynamic world. For instance, McKenzie and Manley (2011) argue that health proposals and directives in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland aim at transforming the National Health System. The authors claim that nurse leaders should meet the challenge with excellent decision-making, problem-solving, critical thinking, vision, and passion (McKenzie & Manley, 2011, p. 35).
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Nursing Leadership Reflection Example
The leader I want to describe work as a charge nurse in the surgical department. She demonstrated a high level of performance in the clinical leadership domain, which implies collaborating with patients and staff. I selected this nurse as a role model for my refinement because she diligently implemented the principles of patient-centeredness (O’Grady, 2011) and person-centeredness (McKenzie & Manley, 2011) while working with patients, colleagues, and families. She was able to listen, interpret, confirm understanding, and evaluate the interaction.Nursing Leadership Reflection Paper Example Essay

The second strength of this nursing leader was her capacity to act in a team of professionals at all levels and disciplines (Hamric, Hanson, Tracy, & O’Grady, 2014, p. 269). In the process of collaboration, she managed to pose herself as an equal member, whose word was worth listening to and whose opinion was respected since it was informed and responsible. Acting as a full partner in communication with physicians, nurses, and other healthcare workers, she demonstrated the ability to integrate and coordinate common efforts to achieve the best outcomes for the patient care system. In other words, she performed equally well in the interaction with senior-level professionals and nurse followers.

As a truly ethical and efficient leader, this nurse was capable of supporting, empowering, and inspiring subordinates (Hamric et al., 2014, p. 269). She never forgot to emphasize the younger nurses’ successful performance and notice the slightest improvement in everyone’s competency. One can consider such approach wise and effective in shaping the followers’ working behavior. Moreover, a positive attitude promotes a productive environment for young nurses’ development and enables them to overcome stress and fatigue from multiple tasks at the workplace.Nursing Leadership Reflection Paper Example Essay

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Additionally, by treating the subordinates in a supporting and nurturing style, the nurse provoked a reciprocal beneficial attitude and willingness to share problems and worries. On a related note, Linette and Sherman (2014) emphasize caring-based nursing leadership that is the fundamental factor in restructuring a system of health care in America. Except for the beneficial impact of nurturing style on the professional growth of nurses, the authors highlight the need for a caring attitude and enhancing individuals’ needs with respect to patients. They assert that recently the focus has been put on the wholeness of people, their unique role in the society, and the appreciation of each person. Overall, nursing as caring theory assumes that its application to the leadership practice can enhance listening, collaboration, recognition of caring in others, use of daily reflection and self-care, risk-taking, and commitment to the direction and philosophy of the department (Linette & Sherman, 2014).Nursing Leadership Reflection Paper Example Essay

My nurse motivated her followers to achieve the highest goals in personal and professional growth. Consequently, they showed the capacity to react constructively to different types of problems in the process of care delivery. The nurse leader had a considerable impact on staff personal engagement and job satisfaction. She inspired colleagues to engage in lifelong learning and adopt new practices. Furthermore, she demonstrated highly developed core elements of the mentoring characteristic of the APN leadership competency (Hamric et al., 2014, p. 278). This nurse focused on the followers’ highest human need for self-actualization, identified by Abraham Maslow. It is also valuable that she did not approve of motivating the team members by material rewards or penalties. On the contrary, the nurse concentrated on creating intrinsic, process-oriented motivation with the focus on discovering one’s talents.Nursing Leadership Reflection Paper Example Essay

In addition, my nurse leader was great at coping with difficulties or complicated situations and showed a high level of resilience. First, she critically identified the components of a specific problem and then coordinated the efforts of the whole team for solving it through reflection and discussion (Govier & Nash, 2009a). Many researchers in the field of leadership claimed that leaders most vividly demonstrate their leadership skills, qualities, and capacities in hardships and adversities. For instance, Margolis and Stoltz (2009) stated that true leaders shift quickly from “traumatic events to looking forward, determining the best course of action” (p. 89). The authors also state that resilient managers “understand the size and scope of the crisis and the levels of control and impact they may have in a bad situation” (Margolis & Stoltz, 2009, p. 89).Nursing Leadership Reflection Paper Example Essay

Thus, the nurse leader I am describing accepted the challenging situations as opportunities to develop and discover one’s new capacities. She taught the team members to control their initial emotional reactions, use critical thinking abilities to find a productive solution, and make use of negative experiences for self-reflection and improvement. Finally, in her approach to problem-solving, the nurse demonstrated creativity, which is vital in a swiftly changing environment. In turn, it lies at the heart of innovation as creative perception enables people to generate original ideas and see the unexpected angles of the questions.

Moreover, this nursing leader possessed innovation, one of the characteristics of the APN leadership competency (Hamric et al., 2014, p. 280). Within its core elements, she was especially successful in systems thinking and assessment. Besides, the systems assessment skills and the ability to evaluate the broad context of change helped her deal with resistance to initiatives and emotional tension, acquired by the majority of workers. Overall, the capacity for innovation is the most vital in today’s changing world. As the IOM report stated, “Creating innovative care models in the patient’s setting and throughout the healthcare, the community is an essential requisite of contemporary practice” (O’Grady, 2011, p. 35).Nursing Leadership Reflection Paper Example Essay

Additionally, this nursing leader demonstrated a good knowledge of psychology, managing skills, and broad awareness of the general health system context on different levels. The nurse leader I observed considered it her moral duty to advocate for patients, APNs, and the nursing profession, in general. It is one of the core elements belonging to the activism component of the APN leadership competency described in the textbook by Hamric et al. (2014, p. 280). Her acute feeling of social justice is another feature of an ethical leader possessing absolute moral values and foundations. She did not make use of her working position for own interests. On the contrary, she held an active position in advocacy for the patients’ and nurses’ needs. Such active nurse leaders are capable of transforming the health system and establishing the nursing profession as highly influential in providing effective public health policy.Nursing Leadership Reflection Paper Example Essay

In my opinion, the leadership style of the nurse I have chosen predominantly fits the definition of transformational leadership (Hamric et al., 2014, p. 272). Her inspiring, motivating, and empowering way of cooperation with the followers resulted in reciprocal personal and professional development. Owing to her transformational interaction and impact on the team members, changes in their values, attitudes, and motivational sphere occurred. She utilized self-reflection for her own development and for motivating subordinates to change and analyze their behavior and perceptions. Especially, it was crucial for the young nurses in the challenging and stressful situations since deliberate reflection allowed them to transform negative experiences into productive ones, build resiliency, and evolve stronger. Consequently, such effective leadership provides safe and quality health care and enables nurses to respond and adapt to change in an increasingly challenging environment (Govier & Nash, 2009b).Nursing Leadership Reflection Paper Example Essay

The nursing leader from my description operated mostly within the clinical microsystems. She demonstrated high performance in the so-called “front-line units in which patients and providers interface” (Hamric et al., 2014, p. 275). It is consistent with Nelson and colleagues’ leadership model, called “Microsystems in health care: High-performing clinical units” (Hamric et al., 2014, p. 274). Virtually, effective leadership in microsystems environment is the fundamental element of safe and high-quality care on a large organizational scale. The ability to organize an effective performance of the teams can explain the nurse’s contribution to the ultimate health care goal.Nursing Leadership Reflection Paper Example Essay

Furthermore, my nursing leader showed respect for cultural diversity in the clinical setting. For instance, she perceived the unusual customs of other cultures’ representatives without astonishment or negative emotional charging. In particular, the nurse demonstrated tolerance to other people’s beliefs even if some of them contradicted the clinical routine demands and rules. She allowed exceptions when it was dictated by the patients’ religion (for instance, the need for prayers at a definite time), traditions, or other peculiarities of their cultural backgrounds. Moreover, the leader learned more information about those cultures, whose representatives were the patients at the clinic. Thus, she demonstrated an openness to new experience and willingness to acquire knowledge persistently.Nursing Leadership Reflection Paper Example Essay

My nurse leader handled controversy in the work setting with a critical and reasonable approach. In other words, she dispassionately analyzed all the arguments and made a decision based on deliberate consideration and evidence-based judgments. For instance, when she had to solve the conflict between a young nurse and a worker from a superior level of organization, she was not directed in her decision-making by the hierarchical positions of the participants. On the contrary, the leader analyzed the situation with objectivity and justice, listened to both parties carefully, and discovered the truth. It is obvious that such a leadership style promotes justice and equality in the work setting.

As already mentioned earlier in the paper, my nursing leader’s particular concern was enhancing collaboration between all the participants of the clinical unit. To achieve this goal, she organized common meetings, discussions, and systematic reports on the existing problems in diverse areas of the practice. This approach resulted in the twofold outcome, namely more effective solutions and closer interaction between the people. Finally, it is worth asserting that this nurse possesses an outstanding charisma of a strong, influential leader. It allows her to build effective relationships with coworkers and produce a favorable impact on the people.

To enhance my leadership competency, I made great use of the role model presented by this charge nurse from the surgical department. She demonstrated characteristics innate to an effective nurse leader in real clinical settings. I chose this particular leader because we share the same views, qualities, and attributes.Nursing Leadership Reflection Paper Example Essay To perform efficiently in the context of a radical redesign, innovation, and organization of the health care system, I choose to develop leadership competencies in the clinical domain. In addition, I decided to follow the aforementioned model by Nelson and colleagues called “Microsystems in health care: High-performing clinical units” (Hamric et al., 2014, p. 275). I consider the successful performance of nursing leaders in the microsystems environment crucial for the entire healthcare system. Therefore, my goal is to develop own skills in organizing an effective team working in front-line clinical units, hence contributing to providing high-quality care.

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In particular, I understand the importance of successful collaboration at all levels of the health care system. Despite my role model being a transformation leader, I am more inclined to become a situational one. The main difference between these two definitions is that the former motivates and changes the followers while the latter can adapt to the development level of the subordinates. To achieve the goal of becoming a successful situational leader, I should act as a full partner with other nurses, physicians, and senior workers. With the major purpose of advancing the quality of care delivery and reducing error, all health care professionals should work with mutual accountability and collaboration.Nursing Leadership Reflection Paper Example Essay

Overall, I perceive myself not as a mere functional doer but as a strategic, active, and knowledgeable professional responsible for personal and professional growth. I aim at making others accept me as a thoughtful, effective, and powerful collaborator, and respect my decisions in patient care. The only way to do it is to increase the body of my knowledge and education and improve my leadership skills and experience. Furthermore, I can take advantage of the mentoring programs and learn from the examples of the most distinguished nurse leaders. My principal concern is to develop the skills and capacities of a situational leader that will allow me to deal effectively with various changing situations, according to environmental demands.Nursing Leadership Reflection Paper Example Essay

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I am currently working as a case manager at a health insurance company. In my working setting, both customers and colleagues descend from various cultural, racial, and ethnic backgrounds. The right for every person to be treated with equal respect and understanding is undoubted; therefore, I constantly enhance cultural awareness and obtain knowledge about different ethnic and racial cultures. It helps me better understand the attitudes and perceptions of my interlocutors and eliminate possible bias.Nursing Leadership Reflection Paper Example Essay

My principle of dealing with controversy and collaborating with others in my work area and in the interdisciplinary context implies solving problems through the constant refinement of my communication skills. Judging from the example of the nurse leader I reflected upon, the key to successful interaction in the working set is one’s superb communication skills and the right attitude to people. One can find two principles vividly illustrated by the statements in Linette and Sherman’s study. They state, “Communication is the key” and “We need to appreciate the value of equal footing . . . as this paves the way for better outcomes” (Linette & Sherman, 2014, p. 37).


This reflective essay presents a critical analysis on the concept of nursing leadership, the
ideal leadership style and the most important skills necessary to become good leaders in the
nursing context. The contextual focus of this essay is on the recent reorganization of service in a
surgical unit within a district community hospital in Wales. In this essay, a comprehensive
analysis will be undertaken using John Gibbs’ reflective cycle focusing on the value of
leadership and management styles as drivers for change. Moreover, the specific barriers to
change in the identified surgical unit setting will be identified in this essay.
Nursing Leadership
Strong and effective nursing leadership that is founded on the principles of trust, respect
and fairness serve as the key characteristics of healthcare organizations that thrive in
demonstrating good business practices and maintain healthy and positive organizational
environments (Bobbio, Bellan, & Manganelli, 2012). According to Lee, Coustasse, & Sikula
(2011), leadership is essential to the nursing field because all nursing healthcare settings are
influenced not only by organizational factors but also of personal factors. The kind of leadership
style that the healthcare organization adopts strongly influences both the institutional and
individual resources and inputs of the entire clinical setting (Gocsik & Barton, 2014). More
importantly, the fundamentals of nursing leadership encourages those who are in the nursing
profession not only to become more engaged and competent in performing their basic healthcare
functions, but also to provide exemplary and quality care while thinking independently and
critically within their healthcare settings(Sellgren, Ekvall, & Tomson, 2008). Nursing Leadership Reflection Paper Example Essay
The essence and primary goal of nursing leadership is establishing positive and healthy
relationships that result in a good working environment among all nursing professionals and
healthcare staff (Swearingen, 2009; Burke & Friedman, 2011). Ultimately, this also leads on
improved and quality patient care and safety outcomes (Swearingen, 2009; Sellgren, Ekvall, &
Tomson, 2008). It has been emphasized that good leadership in nursing should not merely be
considered as an optional function or role for nurses but instead must exist in all healthcare
facilities wherein the implementation of change and the attainment of the highest patient care
standards are stipulated (Curtis, de Vries, & Sheerin, 2011).Every clinical/healthcare setting
must have good nursing leaders as they have the power to establish an ideal workplace climate
and increase the work satisfaction and motivation of the nursing professionals and staff
(Swearingen, 2009). Effective nursing leaders have the power to enhance the confidence,
performance and overall motivation of their own staff(Sellgren, Ekvall, & Tomson, 2008).
Moreover, nursing leaders serve the critical role of providing the nurses a “voice” that lead to
change and further development of their respective patient care settings. Furthermore, good
nursing leaders help in the creation of an organizational culture that is comprised of deeply
satisfied, fully engaged and totally committed nursing staff with shared work values and vision
of improving the quality of the patient care they provide (Bobbio, Bellan, & Manganelli, 2012).
Critical Skills needed to become a Good Nursing Leader
According to Curtis, de Vries, & Sheerin (2011), merely taking on the nursing leadership
role does not assure quality and effective leadership. It is necessary for the leaders to possess
high levels of leadership knowledge and at the same time, apply the right leadership style and
skills in all aspects of work in the healthcare setting (Curtis, de Vries, & Sheerin,
2011).Interestingly, nursing leadership is distinguished from the general definition of leadership;
apparently, the essence of nursing leadership lies on the emphasis of the responsibility of nursing
professionals in improving their practice environment and implementing change necessary to
enhance clinical practice(Lee, Coustasse, & Sikula, 2011; Curtis, de Vries, & Sheerin, 2011;
Chreim, Williams, Janz, & Dastmalchian, 2010).
The concept of “change leadership”, according to Gocsik & Barton (2014) is one critical
tenet of effective nursing leadership. Given that nursing leadership emphasizes on the
importance of change, it is essential for all nursing leaders to be fully equipped with the right
skills in implementing change as well as communicating vision consistently and clearly to the
entire organization (Gocsik & Barton, 2014; Burke & Friedman, 2011). Also, since nursing
leaders are expected to be primary “drivers of change”, they need to possess the critical
knowledge in evaluating the organization’s current structure and processes and identify its
overall readiness for changes (Hewitt-Taylor, 2013).In addition, it is also an important Nursing Leadership Reflection Paper Example Essay
characteristic of all effective nursing leaders to have the ability to anticipate the probable impact
or effect of implementing change in an organization (Cork, 2005). Most importantly, effective
nursing leaders must have the capacity to plan ahead to ensure effective change and manage any
form of resistance that may hinder the implementation of change in the healthcare
setting(Hewitt-Taylor, 2013).
Moreover, successful nursing leaders do not simply impose changes in the healthcare
organization which they think are relevant and necessary. They involve people, specifically the
primary stakeholders who are knowledgeable of the best healthcare practices, workflow analysis
and the overall design requirements of the clinical setting (Gocsik & Barton, 2014). These
effective nursing leaders believe in the importance of involving people in their leadership
&management methods as they recognize that they cannot accomplish everything on their
own(Gocsik & Barton, 2014; Hewitt-Taylor, 2013; Cork, 2005). These nursing leaders are
strongly aware that the succesful implementation of change in the healthcare organization will
only be made possible through empowering people, developing and increasing their motivation,
satisfaction and knowledge in the nursing practice and working with as well as through them to
achieve the ultimate healthcare vision of success (Marquis & Huston, 2009; Chreim, Williams,
Janz, & Dastmalchian, 2010).
Leadership Style in Nursing: The Value of Transformational Leadership
The importance of leadership in the nursing context is definitely indisputable. However,
there is one specific type of leadership that is deemed to be extremely important in the healthcare
field and this is the transformational type of leadership. Clegg (2000) defined the
transformational leadership style as a consultative, collaborative and a consensus-seeking type of
leadership which ascribes power from the leader’s personal contact and excellent interpersonal
skills (Burke & McLaughlin, 2013). On the other hand, transactional leadership, which is
described as the opposite of transformational leadership, attributes the leader’s power from the
formal authority and organizational position assigned to the leader (Clegg, 2000). In
transactional leadership therefore, it is the leader’s formal authority and position which gives him
the power to either punish or reward performance (Clegg, 2000; Aarons, 2006).Nursing Leadership Reflection Paper Example Essay
Burke & McLaughlin (2013), also emphasized that transformational leaders are typically
known for their “participatory” and “democratic” styles of leadership. They not only involve
people but they also champion and empower them to achieve success. The authors, Curtis &
O’Connell (2011) further described transformational leaders as those who share responsibilities
with their members and expect accountability from them. This is often positively viewed as the
transformational leaders’ method of giving their subordinates and followers the power to attain
goals(Burke & McLaughlin, 2013). Moreover, transformational leaders see to it that their staff
members are not only encouraged but are also obligated in advancing their practice and
knowledge that enable them to fully participate in the important changes in their healthcare
setting (Burke & McLaughlin, 2013; Moore, 2011).
The Change Context: Reorganizationof Service in a Surgical Unit
The main context of this essay is on the specific changes and/or reorganization of service
in a surgical unit within a district community hospital in Wales. In this surgical unit, the
reconfiguration of service was part of an initiative of the Welsh Assembly Government which
aims to improve and deliver world-class services for Wales (The Royal College of Surgeons of
England, 2006). This surgical unit serves as a catchment area for eight urban areas in Wales. It
currently serves an estimated 1,500 to 2,000 patients yearly and provides a wide array of services
which include cystoscopy and pain management. Among the major services provided in this
surgical unit include sentinel nodes biopsy and breast surgery which require 24 hours of service
per patient. As such, these types of surgical operations demand an intensive labor from the
workforce in this clinical setting. The surgical unit was comprised of one (1) ward manager, five
(5) day staff nurses, three (3) night staff nurses and two (2) healthcare assistants. In this clinical
setting, some of the basic roles assigned to the author include preparing patients admitted in the
surgical unit and making sure they are ready for their planned surgery and investigation and
facilitating immediate recovery and plan safe discharge for the patient.Nursing Leadership Reflection Paper Example Essay

Overall, I have to create my authentic leadership style, develop the capacities, attributes, and competencies of an efficient nursing leader. The principal technique for achieving this goal is the reflection of successful role models in nursing practices. Moreover, deep introspection and the analysis of own life philosophy can also contribute to achieving this goal. I completely agree with Oliver (2006) who claimed in her article that to be an effective leader, one “requires a complex mix of attributes, behaviors, and skills but most of all it requires an ability to reflect upon and evaluate yourself” (p. 38).

Characteristics of an Effective Nurse Leader
The following are the characteristic of an effective nurse leader:

Communication skills, a good nurse leader should be able to communicate openly, easy to approach, and listens to every concern
A nurse leader should reliable and consistent
Caring, kind, and respectful to others
Motivating, should empower others to perform at their best, and assist them to excel in their profession.
Should lead by example
Fairness, he/she should treat employees equally, non-judgmental and remain neutral when resolving conflicts.
Nursing Leadership Paper Topics
The following are some of the nursing leadership paper topics:Nursing Leadership Reflection Paper Example Essay

Transactional and transformational leadership
Knowledge, attitudes, and skills of an effective nurse leader
Challenges and opportunities in nursing leadership
Empowering nursing to participate in the decision-making process
Education for leadership, this is the main topic in a reflective essay on nursing leadership
Critical skills needed to become a good nursing leader
Leader style in nursing
Factors which contribute to nursing leadership
Management and Leadership Theories in Nursing
Decision making, problem-solving, and critical thinking is the main factors in management and leadership theories in nursing. Therefore, I considered in these principles on this reflective essay on nursing leadership. All effective leaders not only in nursing should apply these three principles to ensure effective leadership.

reflective essay on nursing leadership
Vicarious learning to increase problem-solving and decision-making skills this involves learning leadership through observing or hearing. Problem-solving skills in nursing can be achieved through observing our leaders and people who are more experienced in life than us. Decision making is also learned through interaction with new life experiences and the ability to critically examine management and leadership issues.Nursing Leadership Reflection Paper Example Essay

The Ideals Model, it involves identifying the problem, define the context, enumerate choices, analyse options, give reasons explicitly, and self-correction. When you apply the following steps, it will help you in making the appropriate decision in nursing because it facilitates critical analysis.

Lewis’s Model of planned change, this is a model which is comprised of three stages: the unfreezing, movement, and refreezing. Unfreezing stage involves applying force to overcome resistance in against the proposed change. Movement involves the act of moving to the desired changes which require a persuasive leader. finally, the refreezing stage involves establishing stability in the organisation . This is after adopting the changes and enjoying the benefits.Nursing Leadership Reflection Paper Example Essay

Nursing Leadership Scenarios
Nursing leadership scenarios constantly occur in all nursing organisations. On my reflective essay on nursing leadership, in my experience the following scenarios of leadership; keen caregiving and prioritisation, problem-solving, interdisciplinary communication, patient care advocacy and care of family, proper handling of personal and public resources, electronic literacy, and proper keeping of medical records.

Critical Skills Needed to Become a Good Nursing Leader
Taking a leadership role does not qualify for quality and effective leadership. Reflective essay on nursing leadership encompasses instances of critical thinking. It is advisable for the leaders be very wise and applying the most appropriate method for quality leadership. For any good nurse leader, he/she must use the right skills in implementing change and proper communication. Thus they need critical skills to predict any effect of implementing change within an organisation.Nursing Leadership Reflection Paper Example Essay

Homework For You

In conclusion, this reflective essay on nursing leadership consists of the proper experiences and models which when applied by nurses will enhance good leadership now and in the future. Good decision making, problem-solving, and critical thinking make an effective nurse leader. Click here to place your order. Nursing Leadership Reflection Paper Example Essay

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