Leadership and Management in Nursing Essay
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Leadership and Management in Nursing Essay
Leadership is of a broader essence than management in nursing, which is why nurses too, have to be leaders in their areas of work. This is because they have to know how to work well with other people, since they interact with a wide variety of different people in the work place (Sullivan, 2007).
Leadership is whereby a person tries to influence the behavior of other people regardless of the reason. It may be for the personal or collective goals, and may not be congruent with the goals of the organization (Carroll, 2006). It is essentially influencing others. Management on the other hand fundamentally focuses on the achievement of goals; be it personal or organizational.
An individual must encompass the following competencies, so as to be an effective nurse leader; ability to diagnose the situation to influence, adaptation of behaviors and other resources between the current situation and future achievement and finally communication, which are the key element (Hader, 2008).
The main focus of this essay is to evaluate the types of leadership and management theories and analyze which one is the most applicable to oneself. It will also highlight the strengths and weaknesses of me as a leader and the future goals.
Nursing and Leadership Management Theories
Leadership refers to setting a new direction or a way forward for a group of people, so that they follow. Management on the other hand is controlling or directing people or resources in a group regarding the values that have already been established. Leadership and being an outstanding leader depends on ones qualities and behaviors that they exhibit in different circumstances or situations (Hader, 2008). Leadership has to go hand in hand with management because; without management, the direction that is set does not reflect on how the new direction is going to be achieved. Others will have to work hard in the shadows that have been left behind by the others. Management without leadership; the resources are only controlled just to ensure that things happen according to the already established plans or to maintain the status quo. For me to be a successful leader, I have to combine both the leadership and the management skills. Effective nurse leaders are those who involve others to work together in pursuit of a common goal (Sullivan, 2007).
In nursing, what distinguishes me from the other leaders is the ability to combine the task and the relationship focus. Focus on tasks only will result into affecting the productivity of the employees. Others focus on building relationships with other colleagues and ignore the tasks. As an effective leader, I can balance the inter- personal relationship and the task focuses.
There are many theories that have come up to evaluate leadership styles that leaders demonstrate. They include Trait Theories; this explains that some people are natural leaders, which does not apply to me. This means that leadership comes easily to others, and everyone can be a leader, as long as they are given the required knowledge and skills. Behavioral theories are concerned with what people do; autocratic leadership, democratic leadership and Laissez-faire leadership. There is also the motivating theory which has proved to be ineffective, leaders who practice emotional intelligence and there is also the moral leadership; which remarkably few leaders apply (Sullivan, 2007).
A potent and effective leader should be able to put into practice two or more types and theories of leadership. Transformational theory of leadership is what applies to me as a nurse leader, because it tries to cover what other theories are missing. It has a meaning, vision and inspiration, which are given enough attention. It emphasizes that leaders should have a mission and a vision that go beyond just brilliant interpersonal relations or the reward of a job well done. I got into nursing because it is a job that cares for people, and since I like looking after the well being of others, it is the profession for me. The desire to do good for other humans, for humanity is the main vision that drives me to do so. These leaders are able to communicate their vision, in a manner that will reduce negativity (Carroll, 2006) and inspire commitment to people who work under them. The goals of these leaders will become whole by creating unity and a collective purpose. This leadership also couples up well with the human-relation management style, which also focuses in the interpersonal relationships with the group.
The leadership and management style that I choose to apply goes hand in hand with qualities and behaviors that I have. It is necessary to have effective nurse managers that can create conducive environments in which employees can thrive, so as to avoid a stressful work environment (Carroll, 2006).
In regard to my leadership which is transformational leadership, the two personal strengths that make me as an individual to display such kind of leadership is the ability and willingness to communicate a vision for the future. This is because I have a vision for the future of the group that I am leading. It is this vision that makes work meaningful. I am able to communicate and involve everyone in the tasks, and inspire the group to go on when things become thorny. In addition, involving the group not only satisfies them but also has the potential for the most innovative and creative result.
Another quality that I possess is optimism; the work of a nurse is not always rosy, they encounter some difficult situations that cannot be solved, but the optimism that I show, makes a dull day look bright. In this case, when work becomes difficult, and the crises seem to follow one another, it is easy to become discouraged. I have the ability of not letting the workers notice his discouragement, otherwise it will affect them. Instead, I look for solutions. I have a tendency of seeing a problem as a prospect, and this optimism is what makes me an effective leader. An optimist leader is always a winner and not a whiner (Hader, 2008).
Being a potent leader requires courage; this means that I have to take risks. Sometimes there are usually crises that require immediate decisions to be made, but these decisions would have a negative impact on the patient or the work area. Thinking critically about the situation will also result in wasting time which will also impact negatively. Such risks require courage, of which I lack. Without courage, I cannot address the issues that affect the employees and patients in the healthcare organizations. If the issues are not brought to light, nothing will be solved.
I also have to maintain balance in my work and life outside work. This is my weakness because I tend to get engrossed in work such that I forget that there is something called a social life. Too much time spent on work, will lead to the downfall of other aspects of my life like family and friends, who are just as valuable as patients.
The three main future goals in my nursing career include; working to improve on the weaknesses as a leader and manager. This is because these weaknesses hinder me from being effective and productive. Certain issues have to be solved using these qualities and without them, effectiveness will be of oblivion. Another goal is that there are new and better ways of approaches that can be used to satisfy the clients (Sullivan, 2007); I have to criticize and analyze them and note which one will be suitable.
As a leader, I should not stop learning, and in the quest of looking for more knowledge, I should also encourage others to learn as well. To guide and encourage others to seek more knowledge should be the primary goal (Carroll, 2006).
Leadership qualities and abilities determine someone’s level of efficiency. For a nurse to be effective, then he or she should be an effective leader. This is because everyone around depends on the nurses to make decisions in times of crises. A leader while leading others should never stop learning. A nurse manager has responsibilities and being ineffective may cause harm to their dependants and followers. Care to their patients should be of the highest priority and quality.