The nursing profession is one that requires immense leadership skills even at the level of entering the profession, as a team player and as a manager later (Almost et al., 2020). It is a job full of responsibility and requires deep compassion and professional clinical skills to provide clinical care services to people in need and to maintain the quality and standard of healthcare and life. This presentation aims to shed some light on a real life example where I developed nursing competence under the effective leadership of my mentor. The example, its impacts, learning and outcome of the situation will be discussed later on in this presentation.
I am a third-year student and was posted in the emergency department of PA hospital. I was initially unable to cope with the stress and the hectic work schedule in the emergency department. I was hesitant of asking questions and was not very confident in administering my basic duties of performing primary and secondary assessments and found it too difficult and hectic. My nurse buddy-RN (registered nurse) was extremely supportive and was very kind enough to demonstrate the assessments and the surveys to me personally. She was very helpful and provided support while doing the rounds and helped increase my confidence and made me professional. She empowered me through her clinical leadership skills to learn and practice skills which although I knew but was unable to perform practically, otherwise. She made me understand the importance of taking my own clinical decisions and helped me understand the importance of responsibility and critical thinking. This was my first stint at showing some responsibility and leadership at this level along with confidence. Her supportive attitude as a leader helped me to make decisions with courage and perform my duties with confidence.
My overall experience was positive and I felt overwhelmed with the fact that my thought process and input was acknowledged by my buddy RN. According to Murray (2017), acknowledgment of the efforts and continuous motivation of the subordinates helps in developing skills among them and improve their overall performance. I also felt happy, motivated and involved in the work in the ED after she supported me and helped me. This incident helped increase my motivation and satisfaction towards my role as a nursing student and a future registered nurse. It also made me feel more confident and empowered in the whole process and gave me a first- hand experience of observing transformational leadership and working under an effective and supportive team player.
There are many different types of leadership which are practiced in the nursing profession by the nurse leaders like servant leadership, transactional leadership, transformational leadership, democratic leadership, authoritarian leadership and laissez-faire leadership (Almost et al., 2020). All types of leaders demonstrate different attributes and helpful in handling different situations. In my case, I have found that my Buddy-RN was a transformational leader. Transformational leadership is a highly effective way of keeping team members- juniors and colleagues both, motivated to do their work and also increases their confidence in working and thinking independently (Samuel et al., 2018). She demonstrated the attribute of being supportive and she was an effective communicator. According to Asif, Jameel, Hussain, Hwang and Sahito (2019), transformational leaders develop an empowering environment through continuous motivation and support of the subordinates and help them to cope up with the challenges effectively.
Moreover, effective communication is an attribute possessed by the transformational leaders through which they share the ideas and knowledge with their subordinates and let them understand the things properly (Nichols et al., 2011). The Buddy-RN encouraged me not only to become more engaged and competent in performing my basic healthcare functions but also to provide exemplary and quality care while thinking independently and critically within their healthcare settings through her continuous supervision and clinical competence. Supervision and clinical competence are essential for a nursing leader as these qualities help the subordinates in observing the work and learning through it to provide care to the patients (Dehghani, Nasiriani & Salimi, 2016). This has helped me in conducting assessments of patients and completing my routine work in a stressful and challenging healthcare environment (Fischer, 2017).
This incident helped me understand the importance and effectiveness of being a good leader and how nurse buddies should lead by example and become effective role models. It helped me understand the roles of support, encouragement, open communication and staff participation for the development of nursing competence among them. Now I am a more confident and competent health professional who can handle the challenging environment effectively.
This situation has helped me in improving my clinical skills to become an effective clinician along with gaining confidence to take my decisions independently. Now I will also try to develop better leadership skills and for this, I will exercise the transformational type of leadership especially in the future and try and develop confidence in other people as well by showing support and instilling motivation in them. I learned to improve my communication skills and improve my hesitancy and shyness. Now I understood that the leaders must possess high levels of leadership knowledge and at the same time, apply the right leadership attributes in all aspects of work in the healthcare setting (Curtis et al., 2011).
The scenario can be concluded by saying that transformational leadership is helpful and highly encouraging and motivating. It helped me understand and gain my initial experience in leadership and inspired me to gain leadership qualities such as inspiring support and confidence in people, courage, openness, supervision and good communication skills. It inspired me to become an effective leader and practice these qualities in my personal life and improve my work and clinical skills as well.
Almost, J., Gifford, W., Ogilvie, L., & Miller, C. (2020). The role of nursing leadership in ensuring a healthy workforce in corrections. Nursing Leadership (Toronto, Ont.), 33(1), 59-70.
Asif, M., Jameel, A., Hussain, A., Hwang, J., & Sahito, N. (2019). Linking transformational leadership with nurse-assessed adverse patient outcomes and the quality of care: Assessing the role of job satisfaction and structural empowerment. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(13), 2381.
Curtis, E. A., de Vries, J., &Sheerin, F. K. (2011). Developing leadership in nursing: Exploring core factors. British Journal of Nursing, 20(5), 306-309.
Dehghani, K., Nasiriani, K., & Salimi, T. (2016). Requirements for nurse supervisor training: A qualitative content analysis. Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research, 21(1), 63.
Fischer, S. A. (2017). Developing nurses’ transformational leadership skills. Nursing Standard, 31(51).
Murray, E. (2017). Nursing leadership and management: For patient safety and quality care. FA Davis.
Nichols, B., Shaffer, F. A., & Porter, C. (2011). Global nursing leadership: A practical guide. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 35(4), 354-359.
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