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Traits of Nursing LeadershipAs a nursing student, leadership may seem unimaginable due to the lack of knowledge we seem to perceive. However, with every experience, students are becoming more equipped with the essential foundation skills to behave as leaders (Zilembo ; Monterosso, 2008). As future leaders, we strive for excellence. Leaders shape their environment for success by attempting to improve others’ lives, by motivating, persevering and sharing the path to self-discovery (Ward, 2002). Most leaders have visions to invent the future and nursing leaders vision for the future of nursing practice (Ward, 2002). In order to reach these visions, leaders need to have traits which foster development to encourage nurses to succeed (Anonson, Walker, Arries, Maposa, Telford ; Berry, 2013). As a student, the traits of an effective leader I currently obtain include those of integrity, collaboration, and communication. As for further development, I hope to continue to grow in change and critical-thinking. Integrity in nursing is all about being morally accountable for your own judgements and actions (Lasala, 2009). As a nursing student, I demonstrate this by taking accountability for my actions and choices, while being unbiased with the decisions I make. In addition to this, I demonstrate collaboration as a member of the healthcare team. Being able to communicate with different disciplines in the hospital allows me to be an active participant in the health care team. According to the Canadian Nurses Association (2010), collaboration is when multiple health workers provide wide-ranging services by working with patients, their families, caregivers and communities to deliver the highest quality of care. Although I practice this on a smaller scale, I use active listening and understanding to ensure decisions are made with everyone’s opinions in mind, adapting needs to try to accommodate all. In addition to the traits I possess, change and critical thinking are those I want to continue to develop. Being able to adjust to change is something I need to work on deeper in the future. We learn in school that the nursing profession is always changing. Although this is a benefit for our patients, it can be difficult to adjust to change when it has not been experienced for some time. However, being able to adapt to these changes and think on the spot further develops our critical thinking, a trait to which I hope to further develop, and one day identify with. The values I possess commend my traits to my overall belief of a leader. I value trust, self-respect and loyalty. Trust is a mutual relationship that needs to occur between a leader and the followers in order for the follower to rely on and share information (Spahr, 2014; Masood ; Afsar, 2017). This mutual relationship cannot be obtained without trust from all parties. Establishing this trust can begin to foster a community of loyalty. As a nurse, we are expected to be loyal to the profession the employers and patients as well as our own values (Cleary, Lees ; Sayers, 2018). This loyalty and trust ensure that nurses are supported.
Philosophy of LeadershipI believe that leadership is a privilege that carries the responsibility to inspire others. Being able to make and maintain loyalty, integrity and collaboration fosters a trusting relationship. Trust is the foundation of a healthy workplace and positive patient outcomes. I am always fair in the principles I use to guide my decisions, being able to focus on the positives, even in difficult scenarios. Positive thoughts change the outlook towards a difficult situation to allow you to progress. I will motivate those who doubt themselves, by using words of recognition and encouragement. Recognition allows others to find their motivation and build personal development. I will listen with both my eyes and my ears – supporting my followers through their challenges and experiences. I expect to believe in myself and others in challenging situations. I will aim to inspire by being the best example every day, sharing the consequences of poor choices and the rewards of good ones.
ConclusionLeadership traits and values including integrity, collaboration, communication, loyalty and trust, self-respect and recognition influence me in my role as a leader in the nursing profession. These qualities imitate transformational leadership which has demonstrated high levels of success for leaders in the nursing profession
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