Leadership Management Style Analysis in Nursing Research Paper

Pages: 6 (1783 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Leadership

Nursing Leadership

Abstract of Interview with Nursing Leader

The nursing leader interviewed in connection with this project has an educational background that includes a Bachelor of Business Administration and a BSN, and she is currently pursuing a Masters of Science with a concentration in Nursing Administration.

She has been employed as a Clinical Nurse IV for the past year, which means she is at the top of the clinical ladder of her hospital. In that capacity, she functions as the assistant nurse manager for the Neuroscience ICU.

According to the interview subject, she considers herself to be a transformational leader who focuses on motivating others in her unit. More specifically, she describes employing "praise, charisma, and optimism" to motivate her staff. In that regard, she considers transformational leadership to be the most appropriate to her work environment although she did not express recognition of the extent to which significant differences exist between classical transformational leadership and the manner in which she describes leads her staff. (Those differences and distinctions will be addressed in the analysis section of this report.)

In terms of specific leadership activities, the subject refers to "zeroing in" on what she believes motivates particular staff members so that she can provide leadership along those exact lines. In general, she tries to lead by example, to maintain a pleasant demeanor, to maintain the highest possible spirit among her staff, but without necessarily crossing over into unrealistic or excessive friendliness or cheerfulness that would be inappropriate or unprofessional in a clinical setting. She recognizes that she must maintain a certain authoritative distance from her staff to command the necessary respect for them to follow all of her decisions, especially those that may require them to sacrifice personal convenience or preference for the benefit of the team, their patients, and the institution. She describes a fundamental and constant focus on providing the best possible care for patients at all times and in every conceivable professional capacity.

The interview subject describes her personal philosophy of effective leadership as emphasizing clear communication and doing so within the strategic vision maintained by the organization. She considers it the responsibility of managers to carry out elements of the organizational vision throughout her vocational efforts and relationships at all times. She believes that healthcare leaders must posses the ability to understand and analyze current health care issues and concerns including those related to legislation, market forecasts, and many other factors that dictate policy and best practices. She also referred specifically to the crucial importance of fiscal responsible for the benefit of all organizational (and societal) stakeholders. The subject reiterated (in this particular context) the importance of clear and effective communication at every level, suggesting that "there is no amount of education that can overcome the inability to communicate."

In terms of challenges she faces in her leadership role, the interview subject describes the issues related to her having previously worked on the same unit as a secretary and a staff member. In fact, many of her preceptors still work in the same unit, including fellow RNs, NAs, and secretaries with whom she once worked side by side. She describes encountering apparent difficulty as a result of some of them being resistant to accept her in her new role and position of relative authority. She expressed the opinion and belief that she has managed to overcome any initial difficulties in that respect and suggests that the situation has resolved itself satisfactorily and without major incident.

The subject considers the most gratifying aspect of her current work to be mentoring the nurses on her floor. She described particular satisfaction working with them and filling the role of administrative advocate for their concerns with respect to higher levels of institutional management. She expressed the belief that by supporting her nurses and making sure that they have all of the resources necessary for them to do their jobs she is actually furthering the organizational mission and ensuring the health, safety, and general welfare of patients. Toward that end, the subject also makes an effort to promote a work-life balance among her staff and she expressed her willingness to make accommodations (within reason), such as with respect to work schedules to assist in that regard. She describes having an open-door policy to her staff as part of her overall approach to promoting communication and effective problem resolution.

The interview subject described a work environment that is tremendously welcoming to an ethnically diverse staff. In that respect, she refers to being "lucky" to have a multicultural staff that reflects many different nationalities, ethnicities, and cultures of origin. She views this aspect of diversity as a specific asset because it allows her staff to better serve a patient population that also reflects comparable diversity. She explained that her Neuroscience ICU is able to deliver more culturally competent care precisely because they make a concerted and genuine effort to recruit and hire a diverse workforce. Toward that end, the institution actually maintains a diversity council that hosts an annual cultural fair in conjunction with the institution's yearly conference. Unit representative also serve on the hospital council ensuring diversity in employee representation; those representatives also fulfill similar roles within the interview subject's nursing unit.

Leadership Style and Issues Analysis

In terms of her general leadership style, the interview subject is an autocratic leader, although that is more a function of her specific vocational role and responsibilities rather than her natural inclinations or personality. That is mainly because she is responsible for making decisions independently rather than in a democratic manner or style. That is primarily because she is the sole authority within her unit and because the nature of healthcare responsibilities requires hierarchical leadership in many respects. On the other hand, she make a genuine effort to incorporate the concerns and preferences of her staff in her decisions in a manner that is more consistent with the contemporary emphasis on the complex responsive processes (CRP) outlined by Davidson (2010) in great detail. The interview subject refers to herself as a transformational leader which is also consistent with the trend identified by Davidson (2010), particularly within the modern healthcare work environment.

Interestingly, the interview subject refers to her leadership style as "transformational" even though there are significant elements of departure between her self-described leadership approaches and methods. However, in so far as transformational leadership is applicable to nursing, her characterization is not necessarily inaccurate or wrong. The classical element that is missing in connection with traditional descriptions of transformational leadership is, in fact, the transformational element (George & Jones, 2008). Generally, transformational leadership encompasses a major element of change among employees that is not evident in her description. In that respect, transformational leadership is usually associated with promoting cooperation through the process of helping employees change some major aspect of their attitudes or values as they pertain to the vocational realm and the mission and values of the organization (George & Jones, 2008).

In this work environment, the element of transformation is actually missing, although that is substantially a function of the fact that the major component of transformational change within the realm of healthcare in general and within clinical medicine and nursing in particular actually occurs much earlier in the career track (Armstrong, 2007). That is because clinical medicine is already a field that tends to attract a particular type of individual: namely, those who are by nature altruistic. Besides the natural draw for altruistic-minded individuals to the medical field, there is also a substantial influence in that direction on individuals who may happen to be drawn to medicine more for intellectual (or other) reasons rather than altruism necessarily or exclusively. In short, medicine both attracts altruistic people and it contributes to their transformation in that direction through the processes and exposures inherent to the field (Armstrong, 2007).

Therefore, in that respect, it might be more accurate to characterize this nurse leader as someone who is a good fit, as a leader, within a staff composed of individuals who have already experienced transformation (to the extent they did undergo meaningful transformation throughout their lengthy education and clinical training), rather than to describe her as a transformational leader. Nevertheless, beyond the concept of engaging in (or promoting) the process of transformation through leadership, it is entirely accurate to characterize this leader as sharing many of the psychological dynamics (George & Jones, 2008) that do, indeed, correspond to the typical patterns, mindsets, relationships, and specific personal benefits (Munir, & Nielsen, 2009) typically associated with work environments that meet the classical description of transformational leadership more comprehensively.

Moreover, this nurse leader may be equally capable (and amenable) to a democratic leadership style under the right circumstances. To the extent her current leadership style is properly described as autocratic, that is likely by assignment and organizational chart rather than by her natural inclination and preference. In fact, the attitude and leadership approach that she describes is entirely consistent with what be required to succeed within a more modern… [END OF PREVIEW]

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