Combining Nurse Leader with Advocacy
Nursing is both a political act and a discipline. The pivotal role of nurse managers in shaping healthcare systems is undeniable (AACN, 2006). Leadership in nursing entails advocacy, critical thinking and action in all nursing roles and domains. Since leaders are not born but made, nurses have to inculcate good leadership qualities continually through innate and groomed leadership skills. The current paper is a personal reflection essay detailing my strengths and weaknesses in relation to personal and professional accountability, career planning, personal journey disciplines, and reflective practice reference behaviors/tenets.
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Personal and Professional Accountability
I have always loved knowledge since my childhood. Consequently, I have sought to utilize all avenues and education opportunities available to enhance my personal growth and to develop intellectually. In fact, when individuals share values, a sense of purpose and community is fostered (Huston, 2008). In this respect, I continually attend nursing training programs, seminars, and conferences organized by professional associations, where I interact with nurses and share experiences and important information with one another. The epitome of my practice has been based on adherence to ethical standards in practice. Today’s nursing has evolved from nurses being mere employees who follow orders from superiors to being colleagues accorded with professional accountability and autonomy for their practice (Farag, Tullai-McGuiness, & Anthony, 2009). In this regard, I am responsible for abiding by the required ethical standards such as respect for patients’ privacy among others. In summary, I am professionally accountable but far from perfection due to some weaknesses.
In the process of achieving excellence, I have had certain weaknesses in my personal and professional accountability. Minimal diligence has hampered my personal growth and development. I have not consistently assessed my growth annually and come up with action plans. This weakness has contributed to repeating past mistakes and habits. Therefore, I would have to set goals to improve on diligence and consistency.
Career planning is a guarantor of success without which failure always has its way. As a future nurse, understanding my roles, preparing for my future and right positioning are the core aspects of building my career. As part of the learning process, professional nurses seek personal enrichment, leadership training professional development, and employment-based learning (Huston, 2008). I spent a lot of time of learning the job duties for my profession. For my future, I have found benefits in nursing community because it would enhance provision of healthcare to the unreached. In short, my career plans are steadfast and in the right direction.
My career plans have had setbacks due to certain weaknesses. I have not positioned myself in areas of my desire to fulfill my career plans faster. To a certain extent, I have so far pushed my career out of convenience rather than convictions. Therefore, I will have to improve in these areas to turn my weaknesses into strengths.
Personal Journey Disciplines
My nursing career has been a journey. Fostering nursing leadership demands that a nurse discipline him/herself on a daily basis to build necessary qualities (Farag et al., 2009). I have adopted brainstorming as a technique of action planning to solve various nursing problems I have encountered. In my leadership behavior, I always demonstrate servant leadership. It entails listening, commitment to the growth of other nurses, persuasion, awareness and acceptance among others. Overall, my personal journey has been strengthened by right action plans and effective leadership style.
My weakest point has been not managing councils that promote shared leadership. I have not been in authority in nursing councils that enable me to influence changes and strategies that I desire. Consequently, my personal journey has lacked the necessary experiences to be as strong as it could be.
Reflective Practice Reference Behaviors/Tenets
My leadership behavior has been dominated by different attributes. Integrity is my driving force towards adhering to nursing ethics and health standards. Flexibility has enabled me to fit in ambiguous working environments and adopt cultural competence model to enhance diversity in nursing. Other admirable attributes include commitment to my promises and nursing organization, personal study culture, maximizing on potentialities and fashioning healthy relationships with other nurses.
I have also had glitches in my behavior. I have focused more on career development than building intellectual and emotional self as well as commitment to personal disciplines. Relenting on emotional development and commitment to self-weakened my nursing practice.
Application of Leadership for Advocacy
I advocate for change in nursing practice as a functional leader. Leadership is not about the position of authority but ability to influence. I often verbalize my ideas and strategies to my immediate colleagues. Communication reinforces the desired leadership culture (Farag et al., 2009). With this idea in mind, I constantly criticize behaviors openly, especially the ones that breach nursing code of ethics and practice as well as remedy to enhance solution oriented leadership. My most effective way of advocacy is acting as an example that can be emulated. I act as a model in conduct, time, commitment, obedience to rules and regulations, formulation of worthy ideas and implementation of policies. Therefore, I hardly relent in providing directions, being an example for others to follow, and discovering a solution to arising problems.
Improving Leadership Skills
Exercising leadership skills before graduating would be a proper way of sharpening my leadership skills. This activity would entail taking leadership roles at any available capacity, providing directions as a functional leader whenever a situation presents itself and helping other leaders in performing various roles. This process would instill confidence in me, enable me to learn from and follow others and decide on the right form of leadership to employ in my future career. Sharpening leadership skills is a process that I would slowly undertake, diligently and with external support from students, lecturers, and senior nurses.
To conclude, this essay is a personal reflection on four areas of nursing manager skill inventory, as well as ways in which I would improve my leadership skills and apply advocacy. In enhancing nursing leadership, it is imperative to build skills and qualities that warrant successful career. I have resolved to invest time and resources to become an influential nurse in the practice.