Leadership in nursing is usually defined differently by various people. Personally, I believe that leadership entails influencing and engaging people in a shared vision. It is oriented towards the achievement of goals and has close relations to team process and groups dynamics. Leadership as a key skill is required in almost all levels of nursing (Sofarelli & Brown, 1998). The skill enables nurses as well as the nursing staff to lead via example, develop themselves and generally influence care that is not only an open but that is also responsive to the individual needs of patients (Sellgren et al., 2006). A nurse leader is supposed to demonstrate exemplary decision-making, critical thinking and problem solving skills (Sellgren et al., 2006). In addition, a nurse leader should be at the forefront of challenging processes, inspiring a common vision, enabling others to perform and act and general modeling the way forward (Sellgren et al., 2006). There is currently a deficiency of courageous and strong leaders in nursing, but the good thing is that every single nurse involved in this discipline has the potential to be a leader if they want to (Mahoney, 2001).
Personally, I hope to achieve excellence in my role as nurse and one of the ways in which I will achieve this is by becoming a leader. The explanation given above has guided me a lot as I advance with my career. For instance, I have been slowly honing my decision making, critical thinking as well as problem solving skills and I have always tried to be a role model for fellow nurses and inspire them towards a common vision.
My ultimate goal is to become a nursing leader who can influence policy and alter how care is given to patients. I hope to acquire the position of the Nurse’s Chief of Staff especially in a public hospital setting. I believe that with this position, I can be able to exert a lot of positive influence to the nursing discipline and revolutionize how care is provided to individual patients. Obviously, this will not be an easy task, and I know that I will have to work hard if I hope to reach such a phenomenal position. This is why I have already set forth my journey because in the next ten years, I hope to have reached this position.
I have realized that setting up short term goals is an important part of achieving one’s long term goals and facilitating growth and development. This is why I have set out several short term goals that I hope to achieve in the near future. Some of these are related to my education. I have set a goal to graduate with the best possible results, and this is why I have been working very hard to achieve this. Currently, I am one of the best performers in my class, and I hope that this will continue throughout even as I come close to finishing my education journey and delving fully into actual nursing practice.
I also hope to grow as a nurse by obtaining enough skills and knowledge from everyday life that includes my school life, as well as my current nursing life experience. The everyday life exposes me to various situations and scenarios where I am often required to demonstrate my decision making, critical thinking as well as problem solving skills and I hope to utilize these opportunities to develop my nursing leadership skills. Even in a hospital setting when I come across a dilemma or a difficult situation, I do not view it as such but instead view it as a platform for me to grow and develop.
In addition, I have developed a personal philosophy of nursing that incorporates both my values and beliefs and this philosophy will guide me in my growth and development journey. I believe that nurses have the responsibility to do everything in their power to avail the best care to patients according to their individual needs. I also believe that a nurse has the responsibility to influence others positively and to act as a role model. These are just some of the beliefs that are incorporated into my current nursing philosophy, and that will play a huge role in my personal and professional development as a nurse. It is crucial that every nurse has a personal philosophy that guides their daily work duties that primarily involves disseminating care to patients (Watson 2008). A personal philosophy enables a nurse never to deviate from the real goal of the nursing profession (Watson 2008).
I also believe networking will play a crucial role in my personal and professional development. The building of lasting and mutually beneficial relationships with peers is something that I have always appreciated and currently, I am proud to say that I have very rich network of different nursing professionals with whom we are constantly exchanging ideas and opinions and generally attempting to positively develop each other, both at a personal and at a professional level. I hope to expand this network even further in the future.
Before I reach my ultimate goal which is to be a Nurses’ Chief of Staff in a public health setting, I hope to have provided care to thousands of patients, positively influenced a lot of fellow nurses and also generally improved the nursing discipline even if it is by a small margin.
Sofarelli, D., & Brown, D. (1998). The need for nursing leadership in uncertain times. Journal of Nursing Management, 6(4), 201-207.
Sellgren, S., Ekvall, G., & Tomson, G. (2006). Leadership styles in nursing management: preferred and perceived. Journal of Nursing Management, 14(5), 348-355.
Mahoney, J. (2001). Leadership skills for the 21st century. Journal of Nursing Management, 9(5), 269-271.
Watson, J. (2008). Nursing: The philosophy and science of caring (revised edition). Caring in Nursing Classics: An Essential Resource, 243-264.