Nurse Managers play a crucial role in health care provision and are called upon to constantly be at their best. They lead teams of people who are at the core of health care – nurses. Thus, effective evaluation of the success of a nurse manager is essential (Finkelman, 2006).
In this paper, I have evaluated myself by attempting to identify my strengths and weaknesses as regards my personal and professional accountability, personal journey disciplines, career planning, and reflective practice and reference behaviors based on the Nurse Manager Skills inventory. I will further discuss how I will use my current leadership skills to advocate for change at my workplace and I will, finally, mark out my goal for leadership and discuss what steps I shall take to achieve it.
My Personal and Professional Accountability
One of my strengths with respect to this is that I have charted out a path my career will take. This gives me focus and determination, and it makes me a decent nurse leader. I have also endeavored to carry out all my activities according to nursing standards. Moreover, I have also obtained a Bachelor degree in Nursing, and this is, of course, achievement and strength.
A nagging weakness is that I have not involved myself adequately in professional associations, and this has denied me grand opportunities to create useful contacts. Another weakness is that I have not specialized in any area of nursing, as it is a common practice today (Benner, 2010).
My strengths as concerns career planning include a thorough acquaintance of my current job description and the requirements of my job. I have thus been able to affirm that my level of practice is adequate in accordance with the required standards. I have also undertaken to inform myself sufficiently of what lies in store for the nursing profession in the future, so I have been able to make plans of where I hope to be. My weakness as far as career planning is concerned is that I have not yet made a clear-cut decision of which path I want my career to take, in spite of the plans I have drawn. My career could still take different directions. I could either become a critical care nurse or decide to pursue a teaching course, instructing future nurses in lecture halls. My indecision may make me time-barred and I may not enjoy the full benefits of having finished my education early enough (Finkelman, 2006).
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Personal Journey Disciplines
I have been able to practice action learning, and this has markedly increased my experience in problem-solving and has put me in a position where I can personally reflect on problems. I have been able to develop reflective practice, which has been invaluable in finding meaningful solutions to different crises.
I am afraid that I have not honed my skills in sharing leadership and delegating work. As a result, I have been bogged down by trivialities I could have avoided.
Reflective Reference Practice Behaviors/Tenets
The strengths I have in this area include, first, that I have been able to uphold the truth, and this has helped boost my integrity as a leader. Secondly, I have been able to accept the diversity at my workplace as a strength rather than a factor that divides us. I have also been able to constantly create a thirst for knowledge and this has enabled me to keep abreast of many issues.
On the flip side, I have not quite mastered the art of holding multiple perspectives without judging individuals. Neither have I been able to keep all my promises to me. These are personal matters, but I do realize the impact on my leadership significantly.
Using My Leadership Skills to Advocate for Change
Leadership in nursing is only meaningful if it can take negative situations and turn them around (Benner, 2010). Many changes need to be affected by my workplace. First of all, we need to encourage the diversification of people at the hospital where I work. The hospital is run by nurses who are predominantly white.
When a new member of staff, who is not white, is employed, he (or she) is usually treated with a lot of prejudices and he (or she) may take ages to be fully incorporated into the system. A year ago, a nurse who was of Japanese descent was deployed to my hospital. She was taunted so much that, at some point, she almost tendered her resignation, and I had to plead with her to stay. I finally managed to resolve the matter, but a lot of damage had been done already. Such prejudices can be erased if, starting with the leader, everybody is encouraged to accept diversity as an advantage. The leader should set the example, accepting into the fold anyone who is of foreign origin and making him or her feel welcome.
I would also use my leadership skills to encourage my staff to pursue new knowledge unceasingly. Knowledge is constantly growing, and, in a field such as nursing, where human life is at stake, staying informed is critical to life. Unfortunately, many nurses in my hospital are lazy to acquire new knowledge, and they believe what they learned in college is sufficient. In one case, one nurse, who worked in a hospital in my state, was sued for using needles which had been outlawed for one month then. Of course, the hospital came to her rescue and convinced the federal judge that she had no case to answer. The truth, however, was that she was ignorant of the fact that the needles had been outlawed by the Senate, upon the advice of the Doctors’ union of the state, on safety grounds. Ignorance had proved to be dangerous, and the casualty was a professional. Hence, I will lead from the front in encouraging the nurses who work under me to pursue an unending quest for knowledge (Finkelman, 2006).
My Personal Goal
I have a dream to pursue my education in nursing through Masters up to Ph.D. level. To achieve this, I need adequate funds. I will continue to work and save some money for my education. I will also seek a grant, since my parents cannot afford the entire cost of a Ph.D. in any field of nursing, and I doubt that my savings will be enough. I will then apply for a Master’s program, and later, for a Ph.D.