NURS 4221 – Leadership Competencies in Nursing and Healthcare Essay Assignment

NURS 4221 – Leadership Competencies in Nursing and Healthcare Essay Assignment

NURS 4221 – Leadership Competencies in Nursing and Healthcare Essay Assignment

The quiz which was part of the assignment 3 resulted that this author is a participative leader. It explains that the participative leaders involve the group in decision making. However they make the final say on decisions. This author agrees with the quiz result. This author believes that a leader should be more participative and less delegative and authoritative. When leaders are more authoritative than participative, the group may get offensive or dishonest to the leader. The participative leadership style can bring up better outcomes from the group. NURS 4221 – Leadership Competencies in Nursing and Healthcare Essay Assignment

There are many attributes of leadership needed for graduate level nurses. The leaders should have a vision of the future and be able to communicate it with the group. Enacting at the right time is another attributes of leadership. The leaders should have self-confidence and willingness to take risk and fail at times. They should be able to build good relationship with their group and other professionals through effective communication, and make or guard boundaries in the profession. Another important leadership attribute that graduate level nurses possess is self-reflection. Self-reflection helps the leaders to look back to their experiences and learn from it. They should be able to understand and respect the diverse culture of their patients and the group members. They also have to find a balance in personal and professional life (Spross & Charlene (2005). NURS 4221 – Leadership Competencies in Nursing and Healthcare Essay Assignment


This author has very strong understanding of cultural diversity which is one of the main leadership attributes. Cultural competence is a continuing process which includes setting one’s beliefs on the side, and accepts and respects the cultural differences of others (Giger et al., 2007). Since this author is coming from a different culture than the main stream culture, it is easier for her to understand and respect the other cultures. This background will help this author to provide effective care to her patients from diverse culture, and to lead a culturally diverse group without hurting their cultural believes.

This author believes that she needs to develop self-confidence and risk taking attributes of leadership. According to Spross & Hanson (2005) a true leader should be willing to take chance, try it out and fail occasionally. This author used to work only in comfortable zones. However, she understands that in graduate nursing role in order to achieve certain outcome, she needs to be more self-confident and risk taking. Even after failing a few times, the leader has to repeatedly try to accomplish a desired goal through negotiation and collaboration with others (Spross & Hanson (2005). NURS 4221 – Leadership Competencies in Nursing and Healthcare Essay Assignment

Leadership is a core competency of graduate nursing. The characteristics of APN leaderships are “mentoring and empowerment, innovation and change agency, and activism” (Spross & Hanson (2005). As a part of advanced practice nurses’ job, they have to teach their patients, nurses and other nurse practitioners. They also have to speak up, negotiate and intervene with policy makers, insurance companies and other organizations to provide adequate care to their patients, and to attain better working conditions. Therefore, leadership is an inevitable role of graduate nursing.

According to Spross and Hanson graduate nurses practice leadership in four domains, which are clinical practice, nursing profession, system level and health policy (Spross & Hanson (2005). This author needs to develop her leadership skills in the health policy arena. Since there is an increase in rules and regulations influencing APN role, it is important to know about health policies as an APN leader. The leaders in this domain should be able to evaluate health care systems, understand their own leadership qualities and use them at the right time. The APNs can develop their leadership skills in health policy arena by becoming a political activist, using professional organizations and political action committees, being part of internships, fellowships and special interest groups, raising awareness through communication, and educating policymakers, legislators and public (Spross & Hanson (2005). NURS 4221 – Leadership Competencies in Nursing and Healthcare Essay Assignment

Empowerment is one of the characteristics of the advance practice nurse leadership. It is a developmental process that the leader acquire over time to encourage others, giving power to them, and letting them to work their own. In order to empower others the leaders need to give them adequate education, inspiration, encouragement, protection, security, support, direction, and resource to act their own appropriately (Spross & Hanson (2005). In health policy arena the APN leaders should empower others by using all above methods, so that they can build up future APN leaders who can speak up and act on at the right time.

Leadership as a competency helps clarify graduate nursing in this author’s mind. This author understands that leadership is correlated in every aspects of advanced practice nursing role. She recognizes that leadership is not an option; rather it is a daily practice to be an effective graduate nurse. “Effective nursing leadership is key in providing quality patient care. Widespread changes in the healthcare delivery system have prompted nurses to develop leadership skills to manage the challenges of shorter hospital stays, high patient acuity, and reduced nurse staffing. Advance practice nurses (APNs) are in a unique position to influence practice and implement change as intervention nurses” (Monturo, 2003).

This essay gives me an opportunity to understand the skills, knowledge and competencies required of a professional nurse as wells as, help me to do a self-assessment of my strengths and weaknesses and how to build on it . It will also help me plan my career as a professional nurse The essay will expose me to a wide range of career of opportunities within the nursing profession so that I can develop plans and scenarios in order to fit an ever changing world.


Nursing is a rewarding and fulfilling career and a profession which is broad. Nurses collaborate with doctors and other multidisciplinary team to restore, bring back to life and alleviate pain of a patient. Nurses play a wide of range of roles in the health delivery system. These roles include health promotion, providing dignity and privacy, enforcing confidentiality, respecting patients’ views and beliefs. By acting as teachers, a nurse promotes self-care, good exercise and healthy life among others. Nurses are good communicators, listeners, and maintains good moral and rapport at all times. As advocates for patients, nurses are with people during critical times of their lives, birth, injury, illness or death. Having shared their most intimate detailed of their lives, nurses become advocates through supporting the patients, speaking on their behalf and interceding when necessary. NURS 4221 – Leadership Competencies in Nursing and Healthcare Essay Assignment

Nursing requires certain core knowledge and skills. These skills and knowledge are central to the performance of my duty as a professional nurse. As a professional nurse, I’m expected to demonstrate a good patient observation and care skills, professional skills, awareness and practice of health and safety standard, infections prevention and control, communication skills, medical administration, protection of the vulnerable individuals among others.

As part of patience observation and care, I’m expected demonstrate and undertake skills which include plan and record care, prepare for patient discharge chronic and acute pain assessment; measuring pulse, recognising rate, rhythm and strength, assisting with bath/shower, oral hygiene and toilet needs among others.

Among the professional skills as I’m expected to demonstrate and practice are the following: evaluate care, time management, solve problems prepare self and other for emotionally challenging situations as well as preparing individual emotionally for procedures. I am expected to promote the independence, the human rights and maintain privacy and dignity of the individual.

As a professional nurse I’m expected to provide care in a warm, sensitive and compassionate manner. Break bad news to a patient/carer, act professionally and appropriately in situation where there are limits to confidentiality, and use appropriate strategies to enable patients to understand treatments and other interventions in order to give informed consent were applicable.

I have worked in a nursing home and as a result, I have acquired care skills such as assisting patients with shower, oral hygiene needs, use of hoist, infection and prevention control, health and safety, and communication. I have the ability to work as a team player.

Caring for the elderly in the past made me develop an interest in adult nursing. I have developed empathy and sympathy towards patients and my entire family as a whole. I have understood and respect other people views, values and beliefs. The holistic care and NMC code of conduct lays a framework of attitudes and behaviour, in which a nurse must be at all, times and I strongly believe I fall into that category. NURS 4221 – Leadership Competencies in Nursing and Healthcare Essay Assignment

My other strengths are the eagerness to learn as well as being a fast learner. I am therefore more than prepared to pursue the course of actions which will help me address my weaknesses. I have the emotional and physical strengths to endure the demands of a professional nurse

My strengths, notwithstanding, there is a need not only to improve my current skills but also to learn new ones. I need fresh skills as such as professional, patient observation and care, medical administration including identification and therapeutic uses of commonly administered drugs, their normal dosage, actions and effects, side effects, precautions and contra-indications. There is need to improve my oral and written communications, negotiating and presentation skills in order to work in a multi-disciplinary work environment. NURS 4221 – Leadership Competencies in Nursing and Healthcare Essay Assignment

The next three years of my studies will be used to close my current skill gap and polish up those that I have. Attending lectures, workshops, focus group discussions and projects will help me acquire fresh skills and knowledge. Roles plays and placements will help me learn from direct observation and partication. The mentoring aspect of the ongoing placement will give me opportunity of learning from senior and experienced nurses through doing , feedback and corrective actions, if need be.

On completion of my three years course I will like to join and work with NHS professionals for a year to be acquainted and acquire more experience. My aspiration thereafter is pursue a specialisation in midwifery

In summary, the current multi-disciplinary approach to health delivery requires the professional nurse play a pivotal role. These roles require skills in patients observation and care management, professional competencies in communications with patients and among health professions and other stakeholders, medical administration, health and safety, and prevention and control of infection. NURS 4221 – Leadership Competencies in Nursing and Healthcare Essay Assignment

Hamric, Hanson, O’Grady & Tracy (2014) define competencies as “a broad area of skillful performance.” Competencies include activities implemented by advanced practice nurses while providing direct patient care and the processes, knowledge and skills used in all aspects of advanced practice. There are seven core competencies associated with the advanced practice registered nurse. In addition to the seven core competencies, nurse practitioner education and nurse administrator education have additional competencies needed to become proficient in each of those roles (The American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) 2011; The National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF), 2012). NURS 4221 – Leadership Competencies in Nursing and Healthcare Essay Assignment

While there is overlap of some of the competencies the nurse executive role and the nurse practitioner role each have specific skills needed to attain expertise in each role. Nurse executives plan, direct, coordinate and supervise health care delivery.

He or she must have expert knowledge regarding patient care delivery, marketing, management, ethics, and human resource management, as well as additional knowledge. Due to the wide range of knowledge needed, nurse executives need to attain expertise in many areas. AONE has outlined five competencies and detailed the skills needed for each (2011). According to AONE communication and relationship-building is a competency that must be mastered in order to cultivate relationships and establish rapport and includes skills such as relationship management, effective communication, influence of behaviors, shared decision making and ability to work with diversity. The professionalism competency includes ethics, evidence-based clinical and management practice, advocacy, and personal and professional accountability (AONE, 2011). NURS 4221 – Leadership Competencies in Nursing and Healthcare Essay Assignment

The nurse administration works at the executive level so professionalism must be maintained. Nursing leadership must be upheld by mastery of skills like foundational thinking skills, change management and succession planning. The business skills competency can be met by the nurse administrator upon mastering business management, human resource management, marketing and strategic management and information management and technology (AONE, 2011). The health care system which the nurse executive manages can be a large complex system, such as an acute care hospital that has a level I trauma center, a pediatric unit, labor and delivery unit, cardiac intensive care, and neonatology. Because of this complexity competency of health care environment knowledge must be mastered and includes the skills of clinical practice knowledge, delivery models, health care economics and policy, governance, patient safety, quality improvement and case management (AONE, 2011). NURS 4221 – Leadership Competencies in Nursing and Healthcare Essay Assignment

According to the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (2012), upon graduation from a nurse practitioner program the graduate must possess mine competencies without regard to the population of focus. By mastering these competencies the nurse practitioner will have the skills and knowledge needed to practice independently. NPs provide direct patient care so the competencies and skills needed differ slightly from the competencies needed for nurse administrator. The practice inquiry competencies and the quality competencies are similar in that they both involve using knowledge gained from clinical practice to improve health care quality. Quality competencies include using best evidence to improve clinical practice, evaluating access to care, cost, quality and safety, organizational structure, financing, marketing and policy decisions and their impact on health care quality. NURS 4221 – Leadership Competencies in Nursing and Healthcare Essay Assignment

Practice inquiry competencies involve applying clinical investigative skills, practice inquiry, analyzing clinical guidelines, generating knowledge from clinical practice and providing leadership while applying new knowledge. The technology and information literacy competencies are related to information literacy skills, literacy in information systems, integrating technologies into clinical practice and the delivery of health to improve health outcomes (NONPF, 2012). To function effectively the NP must understand health care policy and regulations. He or she must be competent in the evaluation of policy and its implication on health care delivery and outcomes and must promote access, quality and equality. All of these skills fall under the policy competencies (NONPF, 2012). Health delivery systems competencies relate to the development of health care systems, the organizational structure and functions or health delivery systems and applying that knowledge to improve health care delivery (NONPF, 2012).

Along with a clear understanding of policy the NP must have expert knowledge of the independent practice competencies. NONPF list the independent practice competencies skills as the ability to function as a licensed practitioner, exhibiting accountability, managing previously diagnosed and undiagnosed patients and providing patient-centered care while observing cultural diversity and respecting patient decisions. There are some overlapping competencies within the NP and the nurse executive role. Both professions contain a leadership competency and both advanced practice nurses are expected to participate in professional organizations and to initiate change. The NP competency includes advocating for improved access, quality and cost effective health care while the nurse executive competency includes staff support and adapting leadership style (AONE, 2011; NONPF, 2012). NURS 4221 – Leadership Competencies in Nursing and Healthcare Essay Assignment

The NP scientific foundation competency and the nurse executive knowledge of health care environment competency have areas of overlap such as the use of research to improve practice and decision making and evidence-based practice, and outcome measurement. The nurse executive skill of expert practice of ethics is outlined under the professionalism competency. Hamric et al. (2014, p. 101) state the transition from student to professional APN can be rife with behavioral, attitudinal and value conflicts. Hamric et al. further state that there are phases an APN moves through during role implementation.

The first stage laying the foundation, occurs when graduate NPs sit for certification examinations for their specific roles, and look for available positions. The second stage generally last up to three months after the first position and consists of anxiety related to low confidence and low competence. One strategy to facilitate role implementation for all APNs is to develop a structured orientation plan. Although there are numerous practice setting and roles the nurse executive and the NP both benefit when clear expectations, needs, values, goals policies and procedures of the specific agency are made available upon hire (Hamric et al., p. 102).


Hamric, A. B., Hanson,C. M., O’Grady, E. T., Tracy, M. F. (2014) Advanced Practice Nursing: An Integrative Approach, 5th Ed. [VitalSource Digital Version]. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Saunders. The American Organization of Nurse Executives. 2011. The AONE Nurse Executive Competencies. Retrieved September 11, 2014 from

The National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties. 2012. Nurse Practitioner Core Competencies April 2011, Amended 2012. Retrieved September 11, 2014 from

The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education in collaboration with the CITATION Thu12 l 1033 (Thurston, 2012)organized a working sectional conference titled Effective Mentoring; Nursing Leadership Practices after Training Completion and development skills for charge nurses. Over 40 experienced professionals from major statewide stakeholders in the Healthcare industry were brought together during this session. Those in attendance included nurses from various practice sessions and representatives from the Department of Higher Education, the Board of Registration in Nursing, the Massachusetts Center for Nursing (MCN), the Massachusetts Association of Colleges of Nursing (MACN), the Massachusetts/Rhode Island League for Nursing (MARILN), other national accrediting agencies were also present like the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). NURS 4221 – Leadership Competencies in Nursing and Healthcare Essay Assignment

The keynote speaker for the conference was MD Welborn E. Crawford of Massachusetts Semin Hospital who has extensive experience in offering guidance on organizational leadership in the practice of medicine and is also chairman on the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) board. Crawford also has several publications under his belt specifically discussing about how to boost development skills of leadership at the workplace. His past roles in professional development are inclusive of nursing peer review and advancement, teaching and the use of simulation. The current role he holds at the hospital as MD provides oversight on how various departments of the hospital are run including quality service provision and process improvement. The conference sought to ensure that, graduating nurses from nursing school to have a platform to ensure a seamless progression in their career by furnishing with necessary knowledge and skills that will ensure their development while practicing nursing after their graduation. Participation in the conference was on the consideration of the fact of holding a charge nurse position at my workplace and the constant need to make decisions and supervise ACRNs at the workplace needed a more astute approach of leadership.

Analysis of Leadership Characteristics and Style

Most of the conflicts in the nursing industry are as an increased inefficiency in leadership styles and practices. In many instances, personality traits often in one way or the other demonstrate a link with leadership behaviors and characteristics and in this instances are either inborn or easily learned. The main focus of Crawford’s speech was on the process of enhancing transformation of other nurses’ while at the workplace through meeting the needs of the pre-identified environment. The keynote speaker kept the participants going throughout the session through the asking of questions. Through the question and feedback process, a debating platform was created similar to the one encourage for organizational leaders where employees are allowed the opportunity to be engaged in the decision-making process of an organization. He reflected on Brooks and Andersons publications which suggested that a good number of nurses felt invaluable to an organization when they were not allowed the opportunity to participate in decision-making processes and their efforts at the workplaces going unrecognized. These ideology posters to core the need of as a leader to acknowledge a subordinate in the event they contribute something worthy at the work setting. NURS 4221 – Leadership Competencies in Nursing and Healthcare Essay Assignment

The exchange of information and negotiation between people and their leaders has evolved over the years and this and this has similarly had an impact on leadership theories evolvement. In the conference setting, our keynote speaker had adopted the democratic style of leadership where all and sundry were allowed to measure in on the debate and from the information provided by the audience, the Crawford expounded further on their ramifications in ensuring success during task performance. Further from his speech, it became clear that apart from the democratic leadership style, there existed other two distinct styles that have always been adopted by leaders namely; authoritarian and laissez faire. Under authoritarian leadership, an employee were not allowed to make any decisions and in most cases handles all managerial duties and decisions all by themselves without any external interference from the employees. It is largely the opposite of democratic leadership.

Lastly, there is the laissez-faire leadership style where the leader is in total control of all aspects of an organization. Environments are also fundamental in determining what particular style of leadership will be a success but transformational leadership is mostly championed for in many leadership settings for it is particularly considered to create a conducive environment for not only nurses but also their respective patients. However, there still exists doubts on the credibility of these words for there exists little or no studies at all that pinpoint an exact correlation between leadership behaviors, patient outcomes and nursing practice environments.

Charge nurses were therefore encouraged to adopt the transformational leadership style for the nurses that one is in-charge of are allowed to participate in any decision-making process. It has been established that nurses have positive response to transformational leadership because it ensures that build and develop themselves individually as a unit thus they are personally empowered to achieve their goals. In retrospect, in utilization of this kind of leadership, a leader is equally motivated a leader that allows the creation of synergetic environments where creativity can be easily managed. Considering the fact that a good number of nursing discords are in one way or the other related with the leaderships styles, it is important for charge nurses to adopt a stance of being facilitators for solutions as opposed to being problem creators.

One important aspect fro transformational leadership is the participatory decision-making approach with employees to similar to what Dr. Crawford was utilizing at the platform. The participatory decision-making approach allows an increased accountability of actions at the workplace by employees thus they are empowered and the same can be transformed to patients. Frontline charge nurses who not have effective leadership practices in most instances do not perform their duties for solving problems at the nursing unit, it therefore important for such leaders to adapt effective leadership skills so that they can be assured of achieving better outcomes. NURS 4221 – Leadership Competencies in Nursing and Healthcare Essay Assignment

Communication skills

In delivering speeches, it is important for a speaker to develop an interpersonal relationship with his audience for it is the foundation for all human interaction. Not only are effective communication deponents beneficial in delivering speeches but also it ensures the normal function of various systems of an organization. In the nursing workplace, as a charge nurse it is important to ensure that communication is two-way in the sense that not only are people listening to directives of their leader but also the leader allows them the opportunity to air their concerns. Whether an individual is traversing information in a formal or informal context, it is important for them to acknowledge their audiences, purpose for speaking, follow through in what one is putting across, have a broad array of presenting your information and utilization of several techniques in delivering information CITATION Ant13 l 1033 (Anthony, et al., 2013). It is also important to note one’s external environment while putting across a specific message for it determines how information seriated and perceived by an audience. In the case of Crawford, he focused mainly on the ensuring the comfort of his audience by constantly asking whether or not they were comfortable in the conference room and delved mainly on the progressive leadership in nursing for all those in attendance were knowledgeable of the topic being discussed.

The speaker was also keen on ensuring that all the stakeholders and those in attendance were convinced of his thoughts on progressive leadership for nurses and how to develop this in graduation nurses form nursing school by ensuring that he gave a clear background information of the topic he was discussing then finally gave an in-depth analysis of the developmental ways for building leadership skills for junior nurses at the workplace. While communication his information across, his stands on leadership styles were backed up by facts and claims from other professionals in the healthcare industry with utmost clarity and simplicity which ensured a good number of those in attendance to comprehend the information that was being put across and the purpose of the conference was thus being achieved in an astute and prospective manner. NURS 4221 – Leadership Competencies in Nursing and Healthcare Essay Assignment

MD Crawford made it his mandate to ensure that all relevant aspects of leadership in nursing and how to nurture young habits in graduating nurses could be attained which brought to core leadership issues that if neglected by one who is in-charge at the workplace could impact negatively on the functioning of a particular unit of a hospital CITATION Ame09 l 1033 (Association, 2009). Considering the fact that nurturing the graduating nurses was a new noble idea for healthcare practitioners, the idea therefore needs a lot of selling. The delivery of this message was efficient in the sense that it was being aimed at the correct audience who effectively act on it, this was ensured through constant repetition of the idea in the delivery of his speech and for sure he did deliver the message to its desired levels for a good number of participants after the conference signed up for a two month seminar that Crawford suggested for the 27th the same month where further leadership models would be discussed and how they could be applied at the workplace.

With respect to the experience of Crawford and considering that he was getting delivering his speech to his peers, he adopted the good old boy presentation style. Basically, his presentation was divided into an introduction which gave a clear understanding of the problem that needed nursing practitioners’ attention. Secondly, he talked of the organizations which sponsored the event and their role in collaboration with the American Nursing Association in ensuring nurses developed well envisaged skills to be great leaders in their nursing careers upon graduation from school by ensuring there existed some sort of mentoring platform where they could interact and exchange ideas with experienced professionals in the industry CITATION Gir12 l 1033 (Girvin, 2012).

Thirdly, using visual aid supports like chart drawings and diagrams, the speaker used supporting facts to put across information regarding leadership styles and how effectively communication can be achieved at the workplace. Most importantly, each visual aid used in the delivery of the speech fully gave an in-depth understanding of what was being discussed whose main purpose was to ensure that those in the audience were familiar with the topic being discussed by the end of his presentation. The conclusion of the presentation effectively showed that the proposal that was presented by the speaker could be made effective in hospital interstate and according to the interpersonal discussions among the participants; it was evident that the stakeholders present were eager to take up the initiative of pushing the recommendations into a reality. Upon conclusion of his speech, the keynote speaker allowed the participants to air their questions which were promptly answered. NURS 4221 – Leadership Competencies in Nursing and Healthcare Essay Assignment

Critical Reflections

The speakers’ speech was outlined and delivered to the requirements of the Massachusetts Organization of Nurse Executives who had organized the conference. In clearly defined detail, the conference topic, “Effective Mentoring; Nursing Leadership Practices after Training Completion and development skills for charge nurses,” was extensively addressed and all the stakeholders present were given a challenge of developing some sort of mentoring program that will help in nurturing the leadership skills of graduating nurses. Guided by the conference topic, Crawford presented the leadership debate convincingly through diving his content into leadership issues and the most effective ways and the role played b communication in ensuring one was efficient in their position as a leader. The adoption of a Good Old Boy presentation style of communication was effective considering that the participants at the conference were his peers and this coupled with his use of visual aids to deliver his speech ensured a good delivery CITATION Was10 l 1033 (Waskett, 2010).

Implications for Professional Nursing Practice

The conference proceedings were influential in answering good number of concerns that those in the nursing environment experience in their workplace which generally affect the outcomes of the job. A good number of problems are associated with the nursing charge position such as poor description of the jobs being delegated to others, irresponsibility experienced with the an increase in the duties appended to a particular individual at the workplace and most importantly the lack of necessary knowledge on how to undertake leadership positions. Personally, the conference furnished with important knowledge of I was previously ignorant on: the role of communication for leadership. It was evident that as a charge nurse, I need to be not only authoritarian when it came to decision-making situations but also involvement and listening to other nurses will help with ensuring that a diverse pool of ideas are available to ensure an easy decision-making process.

At the same time, involving other in decision-making ensured that they felt part of the organization that they were more motivated to perform their tasks effectively CITATION Gar09 l 1033 (Garvey, Stokes, & Megginson, 2009). As a leader, I have the mandate of ensuring and facilitating the learning process of other junior nurses at the workplace through the more refined method of mentoring. With respect to developing a mentoring platform for graduating nurses, it is important to ensure that all nurses at the workplace are under a senior guardian at the workplace who will ensure that the nurses are given lessons and guidance on how to communicate effectively at the workplace thus preparing them for future leadership positions. NURS 4221 – Leadership Competencies in Nursing and Healthcare Essay Assignment


I was prompted to join nursing because of several life experiences. I used to feel helpless when I saw one of my family members fall ill and I could not do anything to help them ease their agony. I would sit and get deep thought and wishes that I could help if only I had appropriate training. I observed how the nurses were kind and caring whenever any of my family members fell ill. I usually became compassionate since their agony could not be alleviated.

I am happy to join nursing and cannot regret about of my decision. Nursing is more of a calling than just a mere career. The validation of this paper is to highlight the life experiences and desirable traits of a nurse.

There are both good and worse experiences in nursing profession; however, they never scared me away from this profession. I am gradually learning and developing as an individual and become more enthusiastic about nursing profession every day. The satisfaction I accrue everyday is overwhelming, since it feels great to help others in their time of need. The experiences I got when I saw my family members fall ill made me acknowledge that I wanted to be part of the nursing profession and that I had capacity to fit in nursing profession. I got struck with a feeling of fulfillment, purpose, knowing that I could touch someone’s life. I learnt a lot of things from the nurses who attended my mother when she was ill (Bluni, 2009). NURS 4221 – Leadership Competencies in Nursing and Healthcare Essay Paper

My experience with the nurses helped me to learn that listening skills and communication alongside care and comfort help the nurses to promote patients’ health mentally, physically and emotionally. The nurses attended my mother on a daily basis and honestly cared about her situation. The nurses were capable to communicate with other patients, doctors and the other workers effectively. Stellar nurses are able to follow instructions with minimum supervision and easiness in communicating with families and patients. A good nurse should be an advocate for their patients and predict their needs. Successful communication ability in nursing profession builds up high level of satisfaction while putting off medical misfortunes. Nurses should also listen keenly to orders from their doctors and make notes where necessary (Watson, 1898). NURS 4221 – Leadership Competencies in Nursing and Healthcare Essay Assignment

I came to learn that nurses can work in various tasks, but they should also collaborate with fellow workers. Nurses cannot provide effective care to all patients without help from others, because some situations are hard to handle and random. For the nurses to provide effective services to their patients, they require teamwork (Gokenbach, 2013). I realized that a good nurse should be compassionate. They should be concerned about the family and the patient who is undergoing pain. A great nurse should be empathetic by listening and understanding the challenges facing their patients. Finally, I learnt that a good nurse should be helpless. The nurse who was attending my mother could miss lunch to hold her hand. In other experiences, some nurses did extraordinary things for patients simply because they were helpless (Bluni, 2009).

In conclusion, life experiences with ailing family members provoked me to join nursing profession. I came to learn I had capacity to touch someone’s life, and this was only through nursing. There are several desirable traits of a stellar nurse that are compassionate, selfless, caring, excellent communication skills and self-awareness. These qualities help nurses to provide efficient services to their patients and be able to work as a team to accomplish their duties. NURS 4221 – Leadership Competencies in Nursing and Healthcare Essay Assignment

When the decision is made to become a nurse, there is a code of ethics in place that they agree to abide by (ANA, 2001). The Registered Nurse who demonstrates leadership and ethics places their own personal and religious beliefs aside to do what is truly best for the outcomes of those they serve. As a school nurse, the obligation to keep the students safe and healthy should and often does come first and foremost. Counseling abstinence, though necessary, will not stop teens from having sexual intercourse and it will not teach them to protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancies.

Those entrusted with the health and welfare of our young people must teach them how to utilize condoms to protect themselves against unwanted pregnancies and contacting sexually transmitted diseases, (STDs). It is well known that Catholics do not use birth control in any way shape or form; this includes the use of condoms. STD’s and unplanned pregnancies are viewed as consequences to one’s sins. When the school nurse is also a devout Catholic, issues surrounding teens, sex, and birth control can cause moral distress and make the nurse question the actions they have taken. It was learned in week 4 that “Actions are only ethical if motivated by a duty to do the right thing” (CCN, 2013). What IS the right thing to do? NURS 4221 – Leadership Competencies in Nursing and Healthcare Essay Assignment

Teens, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, & Abstinence

There are nineteen million new cases of bacterial and viral cases of sexually transmitted diseases diagnosed in the United States each year and 50% of these cases are diagnosed in adolescent males and females and most case studies focus on abstinence or on the use of condoms (Akers, Gold, Coyne-Beasley, & Corbie-Smith, 2012). “It is estimated that by the end of high school, nearly two thirds of American youth are sexually active, and one in five has had four or more sexual partners” (Starkman & Rajani, 2002 p. 313). Sex education should include the worth and benefits of abstinence but there is little evidence that abstinence only programs work. Teens who participate in these programs may not refrain from sexual intercourse longer or become sexually active sooner than those who participate in programs that promote the use of condoms. There is no evidence that those who do participate in abstinence only programs are less sexually active but there is evidence that those who do participate in all-inclusive program practice safer sex when they do become sexually active (Starkman & Rajani, 2002). NURS 4221 – Leadership Competencies in Nursing and Healthcare Essay Assignment

Catholicism & the Use of Condoms

Cardinal Jaime Sin issued a pastoral exhortation in 2001 stating that “the condom corrupts and weakens people, destroys families and individuals, and also spreads promiscuity” (Arie, 2005 p. 926). The Catholic church’s negative stance on condoms in that they murder sperm and promote immoral behavior in spite of the fact that Catholic organizations care for 25% of all those that are afflicted with HIV/AIDS (Arie, 2005), causes great moral distress for Catholic nurses who have an obligation to practice using the Code of Ethics outlined by the ANA. Non-Catholic teenagers are more likely to use and know about condom usage than Catholic teens (Kinsman, Nakiyingi, Kamali, & Whitworth, 2001) even with those who are higher up in the Catholic organization voicing opinions and recognizing that there is power in condoms saving lives, and the Catholic church refuses to endorse their use and educate their members (Arie, 2005). NURS 4221 – Leadership Competencies in Nursing and Healthcare Essay Assignment



There is over whelming evidence that the use of condoms is beneficial in preventing the transmission of STD’s among adolescents. With over half of all sexually transmitted diseases being reported among young people, it is of upmost importance that those working with teenagers, where it concerns sexuality, be prepared to teach them about the importance of protecting themselves from STD’s by promoting the use of condoms as counseling abstinence will not stop teens from having sexual intercourse. The Catholic Church refuses to promote the use of condoms. Therefore, it is even more important, when looking at the imperial evidence and outcomes from statistics when condoms are used as a preventative measure for STD’s, for the Catholic nurse to put aside her own religious and moral beliefs in favor of teaching the significance of using condoms for the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancies. Furthermore, it is of this author’s opinion that no nurse who has protected a young person by preventing pregnancy or an STD, through comprehensive sex education and counseling that teenager to use condoms, should ever feel any moral distress or be persecuted by her congregation for doing the right thing.