Respond to Krystle B and Stacy A, 2 citations 2 Refs.
RE: Discussion – Week 4
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Main Discussion Post
Evidence for Characteristics of a Healthy Work Life
of one’s self. Balanced processing involves an open mind and an open heart. “Leaders described balanced processing as the ability to be open to feedback and diverse opinions, to analyze information objectively, and listen to those who have opposing views” (Alexander & Palan, 2018). Nurses must feel like they can talk to their leaders openly and honestly; they must feel heard and understood. Nurses look to their leaders to help them wade through the difficulties of the every day nurse life. Transparency involves honesty and commitment to nursing staff, and these characteristics drive trust between nurse and leader. The final quality, moral leadership, involves healthy ethics. Nurses look to their leaders to guide their behaviors and A healthy work environment is key to a positive work-life balance. Toxic work environments can lead to nurse burnout, negative behaviors, frequent call-offs, and dismissive attitudes towards patients. However, a positive work environment can have a wildly different impact on patient care. From the resources, I most identified with the authentic leadership model. This model expresses the following leadership characteristics: “self-awareness, relational transparency, internalized moral perspective, and balanced information processing” (Marshall & Broome, 2017). I like this model because I can identify with these characteristics, and I imagine it is the kind of leadership style that I would exude.
In a study on leadership styles and their impact on nurse’s perceptions of a positive work environment, there were several characteristics of leadership that correlated with positive nursing attitudes. Overall, the highest correlation between leadership styles and positive nursing attitudes was a relational leadership style. “The findings of this systematic review provide robust support that relational leadership versus task-focused leadership styles are linked to better nursing workforce outcomes and related organizational outcomes.” (Cummings, Tate, Lee, Wong, Paananen, Micaroni, & Chatterjee, 2018). Nurses are receptive to leaders who are genuine in nature. They want to feel that they are being led by someone who is honest and fair. Can I talk to this person and expect an honest response? Are they easy to talk to? Can I vent to this leader and feel heard and understood? These are important qualities of a relational leader.
In another study, researchers assessed the attitudes towards a healthy work environment possessed by nursing executives. The researchers spoke with seventeen nursing executives to assess their ideas of important characteristics of management to promote a healthy work environment. All participants agreed that maintaining a healthy work environment was important to their role (Alexander & Palan, 2018). The self-identified characteristics of a nurse manager that promotes a healthy work environment were: self-awareness, balanced processing, transparency, and moral leadership (Alexander & Palan, 2018). I would agree with these results. Self-awareness is a key component to leadership; a strong ability to evaluate the positive and negative characteristics of others involves the ability to evaluate the positive and negative characteristics attitudes; a leader with a strong moral compass can help guide their nurses through difficult days.
I worked at an inpatient psychiatric hospital for eight years. About two years after I started, a colleague of mine (Gina) was promoted to Director of Nursing. She didn’t have any management experience but she had strong relationships with the nurses and a positive attitude. Over the years, I watched her transform and grow into a leader. She displayed a relational leadership style like the one mentioned above. She was open, honest, and communicative. She had a strong moral compass and an open mind. Many nurses felt comfortable coming to her with issues, and she was always open to feedback and communication. However, she struggled with holding nurses accountable. Because of the tight relationship she held with her nursing staff, she struggled to be fair; she wasn’t comfortable providing appropriate feedback to those who needed direction. Years later, I still work for her on a PRN basis. Many of her nurses now feel that she is unfair, because those nurses who are not performing as well as the rest are not given the appropriate corrective action and their behaviors continue. Therefore, this manager initially had a positive impact on nursing work life, but over time the environment has become more negative.
Alexander, C., & Palan Lopez, R. (2018). A Thematic Analysis of Self-described Authentic Leadership Behaviors Among Experienced Nurse Executives. Journal of Nursing Administration, 48(1), 38–43. https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.1097/NNA.0000000000000568
Cummings, G. G., Tate, K., Lee, S., Wong, C. A., Paananen, T., Micaroni, S. P. M., & Chatterjee, G. E. (2018). Leadership styles and outcome patterns for the nursing workforce and work environment: A systematic review. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 85, 19–60. https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2018.04.016
Marshall, E. S., & Broome, M. E. (2017). Transformational leadership in nursing: From expert clinician to influential leader. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company, LLC.
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RE: Discussion – Week 4
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Leadership Styles in Practice
While managers do the right thing, leaders do what is right (Marshall, E., & Broome, 2017). It is an important distinction. All leaders can be managers but not all managers can be leaders. Managers think in the short term and rely on authority rather than influence (Marshall & Broome, 2017). Leaders are visionary who can use their influence to effect change and think in both short and long term goals. Nursing leaders can be authentic, challenging or aesthetic leaders.
Marshall and Broome discuss transformational leaders and the impact they have on their staff and organizations by being visionary leaders who use their influence to change understanding to effect what is important both at the unit and organizational levels. They use good judgment and advocate for health and dignity. Two models of transformation leadership are authentic and challenge. The authentic leader is hopeful and optimistic and emphasizes relationships between leaders and followers. They are honest and open with their superiors and staff alike. The challenge model inspires vision, challenging the process, and enabling others to act (Marshall & Broome, 2017). From an organizational standpoint, the challenge model could be problematic if the leader has competing needs with the organization.
Another leadership style is the aesthetic nurse leader. Mannix, Wilkes, and Daley define aesthetic nursing as ‘leadership with a moral dimension, and a reliance on tactile knowledge derived from sensory, emotional, and somatic awareness’ (Mannix, Wilkes, & Daley, n.d.). This leader leads by example, composure, and with nursing values (Mannix, Wilkes, & Daley, n.d.). ‘They improve nurses’ working lives across a range of clinical settings’ (Mannix, Wilkes, & Daley, n.d.). Aesthetic nurse leadership is specific to clinical leadership. They encourage empowerment and teamwork. . They encourage staff to work at their best abilities.
I am currently a post-anesthesia care staff nurse at a large urban hospital in NJ. On average, divided between 3 fully functioning recovery areas, 60 to 80 patients are recovered within 24 hours. Additionally, if critical care beds are delayed, scarce or nonexistent, patients requiring higher levels of care are transferred to the recovery unit where a staff nurse provides care until a bed becomes available. The supervisory hierarchy in the PACU consists of a BSN prepared nurse manager, and 2 assistant nurse managers, ACDs. One ACD has her ADN while the other has his MBA and MSN. The ACDs supervise staff and the daily functioning of the unit. The ADN prepared ACD is not a leader. She is not visionary. She manages by authority. She does not encourage problem-solving, and has insisted that staff contact her with any issues. She is a micromanager and difficult to deal with. She is defensive when questioned, and has dressed down staff at the nursing station in front of other staff, physicians, patients and visitors. The MBA/MSN prepared ACD is a combination of an aesthetic nurse leader and an authentic nurse leader. He is hands-on, clinically relevant, and inspires trust. He is not only visible on the unit, but steps in to transport patients, help stabilize patients, or assist staff if needed. He has been discouraged by both the manager and other ACD to stop being so hands-on, yet it hasn’t dissuaded him. His leadership by example style does not change, and as such he is highly respected by the staff. I worry, that over time, the manager’s and ACD’s view that their management style collectively is the better one could wear him down, and ultimately discourage him.
Nursing management needs to move from the draconian management model and into a leadership model with leaders who have the vision and desire to lead. In a study conducted by Suratno, Arlyanti, and Kader, et. al., ‘transformational leadership has a direct influence on quality nursing work life. Leadership strategies are very important to enhance the role of nurses where leaders can create effective work environments for nurses and improve the quality of services provided to patients’ (Suratno, Arylanti, & Kader, et.al., 2018).
Mannix, J., Wilkes, L., & Daly, J. (n.d.). “Watching an artist at work”: aesthetic leadership in clinical nursing workplaces. JOURNAL OF CLINICAL NURSING, 24(23–24), 3511–3518. Retrieved March 15, 2020 from https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.1111/jocn.12956
Marshall, E., & Broome, M. (2017). Transformational leadership in nursing: From expert clinician to influential leader (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Springer.
Suratno, K., Ariyanti, S., & Kadar, K. S. (2018). The Relationship between Transformational Leadership and Quality of Nursing Work Life in Hospital. International Journal of Caring Sciences, 11(3), 1416–1422. Retrieved March 15, 2020 from https://eds-b-ebscohost-com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=1&sid=9c0a4d60-a10b-405a-a0f9-4e3a0a8e2d5e%40sessionmgr101
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