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For a long time, nurses have been perceived as reticent and apathetic as far as leadership was concerned. However, this tendency is slowly changing. Particularly, nurses are increasingly participating in the implementation of changes in their workplaces and the society, especially through their advocacy efforts. This essay outlines my strengths and weaknesses as a nurse leader based on the Nurse Manager Skills Inventory developed by the Nurse Manager Leadership Partnership. Furthermore, the paper assesses how the skill set I possess can be applied to advocate change in my workplace.
Identification of Strengths and Weaknesses
Personal and Professional Accountability
Having assessed my personal and professional accountability, I established that one of my major strengths is that I value and appreciate the value of education. According to AACN’s (2006) website, an exemplary leader not only records educational advancement but also practices ethically and actively engages in professional associations. I am on course to complete my baccalaureate degree in nursing after which I plan to pursue my masters and then doctorate studies. Moreover, I promote ethical behavior and practice, as well as adhere to and believe in the medical ethical principles, including autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice (Jeffers & Astroth, 2013; Wilson et al., 2013). Another strength of mine is that I am actively involved in professional associations at the local, regional, and even the state level. Being a student, I have already subscribed to the American Nurses Association. Such involvement would benefit me as a member in terms of providing up-to-date information, networking, and certification that will help enhance my future job prospects (Masters, 2014). The only major weakness is that while I self-assess personal and professional development regularly, I rarely make solid action plans to encourage personal and professional accountability.
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According to AACN’s (2006) website, exemplary leaders should understand their future, position, and role in the nursing profession, hence easily taking advantage of the leadership opportunities. Concerning career planning, my major strength is that I understand my role as a nurse in the community. I have a general direction on how I plan to optimize my service to the community. The clarity of mind should come in handy in my advocacy work. My career plan is to pursue higher education and engage in knowledge creation through research studies. I also plan to engage myself in knowledge application through devising evidence-based medical interventions. The major weakness is that while I have the necessary flexibility and capability to adapt to future changes in nursing, I still feel that I have not yet perfected the art of positioning myself appropriately to take advantage of the academic and leadership opportunities.
Personal Journey Disciplines
The personal journey disciplines incorporate some of the most notable leadership skills, including decision-making and reflection (AACN, 2006). Exemplary leaders can hold shared leadership positions without necessitating needless conflict (Masters, 2014). Most importantly, they have excellent decision-making skills that they perfect through reflection. My major weakness here is that I do not have the knowledge and experience of managing councils that promote shared leadership. However, the weakness should be solved through experience.
Reflective Practice References Behaviors
According to AACN’s (2006) website, a commendable leader should score highly in integrity, appreciation of diversity, and the discovery of potential, intellectual, and emotional growth among others. Regarding reflective practice reference behaviors, I established that my major strengths lie in the fact that I am truthful, open minded, and adventurous. I uphold integrity as my minimum irreducible value. Just like any good leader, I always endeavor to conduct myself in a manner befitting a leader even when no one is looking. Moreover, I accept and appreciate all forms of diversity, including gender, race, generation, religion, and ideology. I am capable of entertaining multiple perspectives without necessarily accepting them. The ultimate quest is to become a lifelong learner. My major weakness here is that I am rigid and impatient, especially to divergent opinions that are not well supported by facts. I also feel like sometimes I fail to keep commitments to self in a bid to fulfill those made to others.
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Use of the Leadership Skills
All skills that form my major strengths will be useful in advocating change in my workplace. My skills and professional accountability strengths such as extensive education will equip me with the knowledge of some of the nursing profession’s best practices that I will use to enhance better-working conditions and care delivery models. The relevance of these changes is that I will be able to promote ethical behavior and adoption of evidence-based nursing interventions. Through the extensive knowledge, I will be able to introduce new knowledge and encourage others to do the same. The implication is that the workplace will keep abreast of the best practices that will help enhance patient safety and patient outcomes. I will also increase my professional association involvement to enhance learning and career progression. The career planning skills and knowledge would come in handy in promoting lifelong learning through advocating mandatory continuing nursing education and pursuing of higher education. The relevance here is that nurses will enhance their competencies, which translate into better and more effective care delivery practices. Lastly, reflective practices will be appropriate in enhancing the decision-making skills. That way, all my advocacy endeavors will be thought through with utmost consideration, improving the chances of adoption of the proposed changes. The relevance here will be a participatory style of management where all nurses make their contributions to decision-making. For instance, they could participate in discussing the issue of scheduling to reduce work stress and burnout among others.