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Personal Leadership Philosophies in Nursing

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Many of us can think of leaders we have come to admire, be they historical figures, pillars of the industry we work in, or leaders we know personally

The leadership of individuals such as Abraham Lincoln and Margaret Thatcher has been studied and discussed repeatedly. However, you may have interacted with leaders you feel demonstrated equally competent leadership without ever having a book written about their approaches. What makes great leaders great? Every leader is different, of course, but one area of commonality is the leadership philosophy that great leaders develop and practice. A leadership philosophy is basically an attitude held by leaders that acts as a guiding principle for their behavior. While formal theories on leadership continue to evolve over time, great leaders seem to adhere to an overarching philosophy that steers their actions. I believe that leadership is not something that you are born with, but that has to be learned over time. You learn to become a leader from watching other leaders, and also from personal experience. People should become leaders; so that they can help others do their best. They should not become leaders for the title and power that may come with leadership. Being a leader does not mean you get to boss people around by telling them what to do. The purpose of a leader is to guide others by encouraging, showing them the way, and by challenging them to do the best that they can do.

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My mother always told me, ‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going.’ When times get rough it is important to not waste time sitting in self-pity, instead you need to take charge and change things for the better. I believe that being a good leader does not wait around just hoping, instead they make things happen. There are many elements that I believe make a good leader, but just being genuine and passionate towards a cause is what I believe is most important. The career path I have chosen to take is in the medical field. My dream from a young age was always to be a nurse

A nurse is a healthcare professional who is focused on caring for people, and making sure that they manage, maintain, and recover patients to the finest state of health (What is Nursing, par.1). Nursing makes up a vast majority of the healthcare industry. There is a huge range of nursing specialties. Nurses work in General and surgical Hospitals, doctor’s offices, nursing care facilities, outpatient facilities, and home health services (Why Be a Nurse, par. 2). Nursing is an extremely flexible career, with one hundred and four specialties and a lot of advanced nursing degrees, so there is something for everyone in this field (Why Be a Nurse, par. 4). Nurses do much more than just help people heal physically. Nurses are there to make sure patients are taken care of physically and emotionally. One of the central concept in nursing care is person or human being (McEwen and Wills 2007). My nursing philosophy focused on treating each person as a unique individual that deserves to be valued and treated with respect, dignity, compassion. Also deserves excellent service, regardless of their socio-economic status, age, religious preference, gender, spiritual condition, sexual orientation, physical condition and race. Patient should be empowered as a member of a support system, they deserved to be involved, educated and informed in all aspect their health care. Nursing attitude towards a person can indirectly or directly affect a person in your care.

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The clinical situation practice and the transformational leadership theory adopted has a crucial implication in my leadership practice since it has enhanced my understanding of the need for leadership in nursing practice. It also helped to understand the idea of an inclusive model of leadership which ensures all the team members are involved in patient care. In this regard, I share the perspective that the clinical practice situation and the leadership model used will have a positive impact in my leadership practice which helps to improve the quality of care provided as well as the patient outcomes (Daly et al., 2014). The transformational leadership style demonstrates the need for a leader to involve the followers in the leadership role to enhance the feeling of inclusiveness (Saccomano & Pinto-Zipp, 2011). The clinical practice situation also positively shapes my leadership practice by improving knowledge on the need to continually develop the individual skills and knowledge level through engaging in training and development programs. The clinical situation presented the notion that clinical practice involves dealing with diverse situations which creates the need for the nurses among other healthcare providers to adopt efficient models of care to achieve the desired outcomes (Ennis, Happell, Broadbent & Reid-Searl, 2013). The transformational leadership style taken in this case helps in continually improving personal knowledge and skills which helps in addressing complex situations affecting patients (Marshall & Marshall, 2011)

The case further promotes my critical thinking abilities which are also critical in decision making as well as treating patients with diverse needs. I have improved my understanding of the positive role of critical thinking in my leadership practice and the need to adopt the aspect as the basis for my decision making.

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In sum, there are numerous different regulations and system policies the nurses adhere to in order to maintain safety and quality care for all people. I believe nursing colleagues may be able to unite as one group with the same values in their trade in order to work harder on leading by example, and following each others strategies as well; furthermore, overcoming the obstacles of modern day traditional standards and excelling beyond the current generations outlook of the nursing profession. Nursing leadership and management is crucial in the foundation of nursing care. There is a direct correlation between leadership and quality of care. Poor nursing leadership leads to poor patient outcome and, inversely, good nursing leadership leads to excellent patient outcomes. I believe that a profession has a commitment to a lifelong work because you get involved in your establishment. It is very hard for me to think of leaving the nursing field, or the hospital I work in now, because there are so many people relying on me for my knowledge of this hospital. I have grown attached to those I work for and with. The rules of this hospital differ from others and after familiarizing myself in such depth here I could not just leave in hopes of finding another place to be so comfortable or appreciated. However, in today’s generation many nurses do not feel the same way

There are many nurses that choose to work short term in one hospital and then leave to work in another facility. Due to this constant battle for hospitals and other health care provider facilities to keep continuous adequate nursing staff, the United States has had to find other means of populating our health care system

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Kouzes, James, and Barry Posner. The Student Leadership Challenge. San Francisco: A Wiley Imprint, 2008

"Summary." U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic, n.d. Web. Nov. 1 2013

"Thinking of Becoming a Registered Nurse? Now Is the Ideal Time!" Jacksonville University, n.d. Web. 31 Oct. 2013

Marshall, E., & Broome, M. (2017). Transformational leadership in nursing: From expert clinician to influential leader (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Springer.

Saccomano & Pinto-Zipp, (2011) Journal of Nursing Management 19, 522–533

Duggan, K., Aisaka, K., Tabak, R. G., Smith, C., Erwin, P., & Brownson, R. C. (2015). Implementing administrative evidence-based practices: Lessons from the field in six local health departments across the United States. BMC Health Services Research, 15(1). doi:10.1186/s12913-015-0891-3. Retrieved from

Postprint of: Daly, J, Jackson, D, Mannix, J, Davidson, PM & Hutchinson, M 2014, 'The importance of clinical leadership in the hospital setting', Journal of Healthcare Leadership, vol. 2014, no. 6, pp. 75-83.

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