I have worked in healthcare for over thirteen years both as new scare nurse and as an informal leader and as an appointed manager. Throughout this process I have experienced many different feelings towards my managers and experienced several different types of management styles as related to our recent management concept learning. A prior class text book definition states “Philosophy looks at the nature of things and aims to provide the meaning of the nursing phenomena. Philosophies are the broadest in scope and provide a broad understanding” (Blaise & Hayes 2002 p. 98). Combining a defined leadership theory with my own personal nursing philosophy engages a higher level of understanding about personal concepts and ideas of my past experiences and the possibility for growth as a leader. Peter Drucker’s theory in regards to involving the entire organization in planning and establishing the management process has been implemented for many years at my current employment, to include weekly staff meetings with open discussions and an anonymous “drop box” for problems or ideas to be shared with upper management.
We also give one-hundred dollar bonus to any employee who presents a new idea or plan and the hospital corporation agrees to use it. This form of staff participation in leadership by Peter Drucker was used to advise the heads of General Motors, Sears, General Electric, W.R. Grace and IBM, among many others. Often times Drucker offered his management advice to non-profits like the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army. Drucker’s theory in the health care setting encourages individual autonomy and embraces the ideal of leaders not being born but can should be taught and encouraged to use their best judgments for every unique situation. Drucker is quoted as stating “Leadership is something scientific but has artistic expression.”
Artistic expression is individualized and when an organization encourages this individuality of its member’s the results can in turn provided broader solutions and opportunity for growth. This form of collaboration of many different unique perspective and special skills are imperative in today’s health care system as specifically outlined by the American Nurses Association (ANA) “recognition of the expertise of others within and outside the profession, and referral to those other providers when appropriate” (2003, p.8) The increasing competitive nature of health care and ever changing technology and change make it imperative for a health care organization to work together as a team for the betterment of the patient outcomes and a hospital’s long term viability.
Personal Growth as a Nurse Leader
With review of my personal experiences in my nursing career, I can now see the obvious management transitions that took place at the facility I worked at. When I first started working, I basically felt like a “warm body” only there to perform certain tasks at certain times and felt of no real value to actual hospital’s overall revenue or outcome. Looking back at the management style from that time, I felt no real structure or individual importance toward the outcome of the hospital I worked for. The hospital was a non-profit, government owned facility and the resulting management style is easily related to the Laissez-faire leadership form. With this “hands off” (Finkleman, p6) form of management comes a great lack of feeling of security or capability to grow and learn as a nurse. Three year after working there a new company bought out our hospital and many extreme changes happened. Computer charting came in, new managers, new rules, new standards and many people left because of these changes. Not because they were bad changes but because they simply did not want to accept change.
With these changes emerged a new management technique that follow the Drucker philosophy of encouraging staff participation, goal setting and leadership learning with in the hospital. I will never forget the first time the hospital administrator came up to me, shook my hand and simply asked how everything on my nursing unit was going. If I had any problems or concerns. This form of management encouraged professional growth and self-esteem. I became more familiar with small skills such as intravenous access, medications, equipment and general patient involvement, I began to find myself more interested in the art of health care and learning. Challenges and learning became my journey and led me to a management position in the emergency room department. I grew as a person and as a nurse.
I learned so many things about health care and genuinely cared for my co-workers. Their input was invaluable and helped us create new policies and systems to give our patients better care. I learned mostly about myself and who I wanted to be as a person and a leader or example to other nurses. I became very confident after ten years in this department and enjoyed the teamwork of this area and wanted to be able to do more with this invaluable acquired knowledge. I came to an understanding of a nurse’s ability to provide their perspectives and past experiences to help other care for the patients.
In conclusion, with the educational advancements and experience I hope to continue to learn how to be an effective leader. I would like to see our organization encourage some the emotional intelligence theory philosophy into our practice to encourage stronger relationships between all staff. As stated in (Finkelman, 2011 p 10), “emotional intelligent leadership is key to creating a working climate that nurtures its employees and encourages them to do their best with enthusiasm, in turn this pays off in improved business performance.” I believe that all people inherently want to be recognized for what they do and need positive reinforcement. With future leadership roles I hope to incorporate both of these leadership theories of including the employees in the organizations plans, group problem solving and building good leaders along with stronger emotional relationships built on encouragement and positive reinforcement to provide an open positive learning environment with strong inter employee relationships.
Blais, K., & Hayes, J. (2002). Professional nursing practice. (2011 ed., Vol. 6, pp. 2, 27-29, 268). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson. Retrieved from http//www.pearsonhighered.com
Finkelman, A.(2006).Leadership and Management for Nurses. (2011 2nd ed., pp. 5-13).Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson. Retrieved from http//www.pearsonhighered.com
Nursing Times. (2011) Leadership Skills for Nurses. Retrieved from http://www.nursingtimes.net/Journals/2011/j/n/i/Leadership-Skills-for-Nurses.