Nursing is a very significant medical field, and it is served with the responsibility of defining the type and nature of treatment that is to be provided to a patient. In the contemporary nursing practice, nurses are expected to exhibit elements of leadership, a trait defined as a practice of social influence where a specific individual influence others in accomplishing a common task (Blais, 2006). Therefore, this paper explores elements leadership in nursing practice, and determines how such a culture can be propagated to provide quality nursing care.
Organizational Systems & Quality Leadership
B. Leadership Strategies:
The two unique strategies that enable a nurse on an interdisciplinary team to exert leadership without occupying a formal leadership position includes the element of taking responsibility for every action and being an upbeat delegator and problem solver. A nurse can develop leadership skills by being responsible and answerable for every action made (Hamric, Spross & Hanson, 2009). An individual who is accountable always take a stance on a particular issue, and instead of complaining he /she take requisite actions to acknowledge the existence of the problem. Element of responsibility allows nurses to perform their tasks without supervision, and instigate element of working together, where nurses share ideas to provide quality and evidence based nursing care. If fellow employees see one doing the right thing in terms of managing problems posing ethical, legal, and practice dilemma, they are also motivated to follow suit and tends to trust such an individual more (Bondas, 2010).
Another vital strategy relates to the element of being a delegator and upbeat problem solver. As a delegator, a nurse exhibits a key position of knowing each nurse’s role and responsibility, and tends to delegate duties to nurses based on their qualifications and scope of practice. Being a delegator instills enormous responsibilities and requires leadership concepts, where a nurse engages mechanisms aimed at providing quality and safe nursing outcomes. As a delegator, a nurse is required to supervise and offer guidance to individuals assigned with nursing tasks, and this is a form of leadership. The aspect of delegation in turn promotes cooperation and the concept of people working together, in turn exerting leadership without occupying a formal leadership position (Outhwaite, 2003).
C. Active Involvement:
In respect to service delivery, it is very important for nurses to be actively involved with an interdisciplinary team. Nurses are always at the forefront of providing patient care, and being advocates of health they act as patient‘s voice in provision of personalized medical care.
In all situations, they collaborate with other health practitioners such physicians, case managers, and social workers to ensure patients medical needs have been addressed. Therefore, active involvement of a nurse in an interdisciplinary team is very important because it guarantees provision of safety and quality nursing outcomes. It also allows collaboration between team members in turn accomplishing shared objectives, and gives individuals in other disciplines an opportunity to learn and appreciate nurse’s roles in respect to managing patient outcomes.
Nurses can take can take an active, contributing position within an interdisciplinary team by treating and respecting all members of team through sharing of ideas and responsibilities, a factor very important in making sure the goals and objectives of the team have been achieved. Nurses can also play an active role by establishing a culture of innovation, which makes them proactive in handling nursing issues (Bondas, 2010). This trait allows nurses to develop, and engage in new and evidence-based care, which promote quality and safety outcomes. A nurse can also take an active and contributing position within an interdisciplinary team by instigating concepts of teamwork and trust, and notions of working together. Such involvement makes a nurse a team player and a network builder, in turn allowing rapid achievement of the interdisciplinary team goals and objectives.By building teamwork, nurses share ideas with other team members and significantly contribute points that promote effective outcomes. They also point out and correct any issue they regard it is against the patient’s wellbeing (Blais, 2006). Teamwork and notion of working together is also cemented through effective communication among the interdisciplinary team members. This factor ensures effectual sharing of ideas and skills in turn establishing a common stance to matters being investigated. Still under the notion of teamwork and working together, nurses can actively contribute in an interdisciplinary team by doing projects or searching resources needed for the project. The doing of the projects and researching of resources provides other team members with loads of data and back up resources required for successful implementation of the project (Hamric, Spross & Hanson, 2009).
D. Creating a safe environment in a healthcare setting:
According to IHI Open School Basic modules, there are four characteristics of a culture of safety. These characteristics include Active Leadership, Psychological Safety, Fairness, and Transparency. Concerning nursing practice, Psychological Safety is regarded as an individual consciousness in respect to interpersonal consequences and risks (Hamric, Spross & Hanson, 2009). Such safety is promoted by making sure the patient is comfortable, while at the same time making sure the patient receives quality and evidenced based medical care that promotes psychological safety. Involvement and respect of other people needs is also another important factor which can create a safe environment in a healthcare setting , and this relate to the fact that no team members or colleagues would like to correlate with individuals that are insensitive and discourteous towards others. Creation of elements of Psychological Safety ensures confidence among team members, and allows critical thinking in situations posing ethical, legal, and practice challenges (Outhwaite, 2003).
A safe environment in a healthcare setting can also be established by engaging all the team members in decision-making processes. This practice is achieved through formulation and implementation of Active Leadership trait, where team leaders establish a favorable working environment that make fellow colleagues comfortable and at ease to express their ideas and concerns. A safe environment is also created through advocacy and promotion of concepts of transparency, where clinical matters are dealt with openly and professionally without sweeping them under the rag (Blais, 2006). This is done by motivating all members in a team to deliver their best and to learn from their past mistakes, and to focus on promoting quality and safer patient’s outcomes. Transparency can also be created by involving employees or team members in formulating standards of practice. I can also create a safe environment by instilling fairness in daily organizational activities, where I would ensure no team member or employee is victimized in situation of errors or malpractices. This can be done by ensuring all employees work according to the standards and scope of practice provided, and by advocating all employees adhere to laid down nursing regulations (Bondas, 2010).
In conclusion, element of leadership in nursing care is very important in determination of successful nursing outcomes. To ensure successful nursing care, the leadership trait of nurses should always concur with the health institutions objectives, and should always focus on the overall alleviation of patient’s suffering. Concisely, every health institutions with leaders embracing effective interdisciplinary teams are bound to achieve its goals effectively.
Blais, K. (2006). Professional nursing practice: concepts and perspectives. New York: John Wiley and Sons.
Bondas, T. (2010). “Nursing leadership from the perspective of group supervision: a paradoxical practice”. Journal of Nursing Management, 18 (4): 77-486.
Hamric, A., Spross, J. & Hanson, C. (2009). Advanced practice nursing: An integral
approach. St. Louis, MO: Saunders Elsevier.
Outhwaite, S. (2003). ‘The importance of leadership in development of an integrated team.’ Journal of Nursing Management, 11: 371-76.