Being in the nursing profession is challenging, as it is a very dynamic field. There are many issues that a registered nurse or even the one in training has to grasp and be updated. The patients that the nurse takes care of come from different backgrounds, and the nurse has to adjust his/her method of approach to accommodate each and every patient. There are other professional issues like knowing how to interact well with fellow workers in the hospitals and making accurate decisions with limited time. In order to perform these tasks effectively, the researcher has decided to work on leadership skills. Attainment of leadership skills enable a person in the nursing field to interact with colleagues without feeling subdued. It also puts one in a position to inspire and motivate both the colleagues and patients. The second smart goal that the researcher wants to achieve is to give back to the society by taking care of the less fortunate in the society. This is by means of provision of basic needs and health services, as well. The researcher sought evidence to back these SMART goals and interviewed an expert on the same. This paper presents the researcher’s findings.
Kalargyrou and company (2012) articulate that even though leadership had been presumed to be an inborn trait in the past, it is a set of skills that can be learned and practiced by any interested person. This, therefore, makes the goal of learning leadership skills attainable. Having interpersonal skills is considered to be an important aspect of leadership. The other aspects are the ability to solve problems and having technical knowhow in one’s field of expertise. Communication skills are emphasized especially the ability to listen to others understand their unspoken needs. This would be important when dealing with patients that may not be in a position to express their needs well.
There are no schools that specialize in training leaders, which makes these skills hard to attain. One is required to go for seminars and other informal training forums in order to be effective at leadership. Another aspect of leadership is that a person does not need to be in a position of authority to use these skills. Everyone is a leader in whatever position they are in an organization, and that makes leadership skills a universal requirement. Having leadership skills fosters harmony in an organization. It is this ability that makes the persons having them rise to management positions. Contextual leadership requires one to have in depth knowledge of the technical aspects of their field. In the researcher’s case, nursing is the field of specialization. However, having just the technical knowledge does little to assist in leadership. It is the attainment of additional cognitive and interpersonal skills that are likely to make the researcher stand out from the other nursing professionals (Kalargyrou, Pescosolido & Kalargiros, 2012).
With regards to the goal of giving back to the society, Ashour (2001) gives a good insight on how the researcher may go about it. She has a similar goal and intends to register with disaster management agencies such as Red Cross and Red Crescent to offer voluntary services whenever required. The researcher intends to save a portion of earnings made on the job and remit to organizations that take care of the poor that have no access to quality healthcare. In three years the, the researcher plans to begin offering voluntary nursing services in mission hospitals. This will be in anticipation for travelling to the impoverished nations in Africa and Asia to provide voluntary medical services for a period of five year’s. The researcher has planned to do this after ten years.
The researcher got an opportunity to interview the Regional Coordinator for USAID in Africa on the challenges of leadership and community service. That interviewee is involved in compassion activities and is a leader at the same time. this made it very convenient to interview him on both goals. He was insistent that, as a leader in his work, he has to be very flexible and have the ability to adapt to different social environments. This is because he has to deal with persons from different cultural backgrounds in the different locations that the organization has operations. In terms of community service, the researcher got the revelation that it requires one to sacrifice a lot of things that are held dear by most persons. It makes one leave behind families and the comfortable, familiar environment at home to go and serve others in faraway lands. It may lead to frustrations and predispose one foreign disease. He explained that offering humanitarian services in the impoverished countries can make one get depressed after witnessing the deplorable conditions that other humans live.
Researcher discovered that there was much that he was yet to understand with regards to his goals. Information on the two goals and testimonies from persons that have attained them would help a great deal in giving the researcher an idea of what to expect. The researcher will also embark on improving academic qualifications by taking Masters in nursing. This will help in enhancing the leadership capabilities of the researcher. It will also put him in a better position to plan on attaining the goal of giving back to the society.
Kalargyrou, V., Pescosolido, A. T., & Kalargiros, E. A. (2012). LEADERSHIP SKILLS IN MANAGEMENT EDUCATION. Academy of Educational Leadership Journal, 16(4), 39-63.
Ashour, S. (2001). My professional goals of nursing. [online] Retrieved from: http://sarahashoursportfolio.weebly.com/my-professional-goals-of-nursing.html [Accessed: 2 Feb 2014].