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Week 3 Wrap Up

This week was very insightful for me because I was able to see hiring from a different perspective. I have never been in a position where I was the one doing the hiring. Hearing how much work goes into hiring was a little bit humbling for me!
Just a month ago I applied for a very competitive new grad program at an award-winning children’s hospital in Orange County. I made it to the interview stage but did not get the job. I emailed the manager that interviewed me to ask what went wrong and what I could have done better. She specifically mentioned behavioral based questions. She suggested that I research them and practice my answers so they are a little smoother. I was very interested in learning about them and I hope that this lesson will help me in my future interviews. Maybe I will even be doing the hiring the next time I have to think about them!
The team activity this week caused me to think a lot about the type of coworkers I prefer. Our entire group agreed with each other that while both candidates had good qualities, the first candidate seemed like the one we would enjoy working with. My opinion did not change but my group members shared a lot of great thoughts.
Overall, I am happy with what we covered this week!

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Week 2 – Final Thoughts

This week I learned more than I initially expected to. The thing that really struck me this week is that there is no one right way to lead. Different types of leadership can all be effective at different times. People are different, and will respond to different types of leadership accordingly. I personally feel happy about the material we covered this week because it already feels like I am learning from this class.

This week for the group activity we are discussing a list of possible leaders and deciding which we believe are truly leaders. I am surprised to find that qualities I would consider as defining for leaders are not the same qualities my teammates picked! Specifically, they have excluded people whom I would have included. Their opinions have not necessarily changed my opinion of what makes a great leader, but it does open my eyes to why different people thrive better on some units in the hospital than others.

With this new information, I am going to try to approach others with a more open mind. Just because someone responds to leadership differently from me does not make them wrong and me right. Understanding that not everyone is going to respond the same way will help me in future leadership roles to not get discouraged when someone does not respond well.

I’ll be back on here next week!

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Characteristics of Leaders

Characteristics of leaders and how they relate to nursing:

  1. Leadership requires personal mastery– In an emergent situation, when a patient’s condition is changing rapidly, members of the team will look to the leader to know what to do. If a leader has mastered skills necessary for these situations, they will be able to competently lead.
  2. Leadership is about values– When nurses graduate, they recite the Florence Nightingale pledge. This pledge outlines promises and values that all nurses are to adhere to.
  3. Leadership is about service– Ask any nurse if they’ve ever skipped lunch to take care of patients. Most nurses have, and that is because nursing at its core is about service.
  4. Leadership is about people and relationships– Nurses demonstrate leadership when they are able to make meaningful connections with patients and coworkers. These connections make others more likely to trust and follow them.
  5. Leadership is contextual– In nursing, situations can change really quickly. While one nurse may be the best leader in one situation, nurses have to understand that that may not always be the case. We have to be willing to defer to one another and ask questions.
  6. Leadership is about the management of meaning– The way nurse leaders respond to those on their team can shape the team’s culture. If a nurse snaps at another nurse for making a mistake, relationships can be strained. If a nurse corrects respectfully, everyone may feel better supported.
  7. Leadership is about balance– Nurses have to have balance in every aspect of their jobs. The same is true for nurse leaders. They must balance their time and resources, as well as the time and resources of others. (This becomes especially difficult when there are staff shortages.)
  8. Leadership is about continuous learning and improvement– No matter how long a nurse has been a nurse, the medical field will continue to change. Every nurse can benefit from continuing education as well as being open to ideas of coworkers and management.
  9. Leadership is about effective decision making– Again, in a code situation, there is no time for indecisiveness. Nurse leaders must be willing to make difficult decisions, and make them quickly.
  10. Leadership is a political process– Leaders in the nursing field often have to balance the demands of nurses working on the floor and upper management. Nurses working on the floor are always wanting more nurses working at a time and better equipment, while upper management is constantly trying to cut costs.
  11. Leadership is about modeling– As new studies are done and information comes out, hospitals and individual units are often creating new initiatives in order to better achieve goals. Nurse leaders must be the first to follow these new initiatives, and nurses on the floor can then be convinced to follow them as well.
  12. Leadership is about integrity– If a leader doesn’t have integrity, then they have nothing. In nursing, trust is everything. If a nurse leader has not been true to their word in the past, their team may hesitate to trust them, which could chip away at the foundation of the team.
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Week 2

This week as I studied materials for my class and listened to lectures, I began to really ponder what it means to be a good leader. 

I spoke to my supervisor about what his expectations were when he became a supervisor. He said he had a pretty good idea of what it would be like since he had worked in the facility as a floor nurse before becoming supervisor. The thing that surprised him most was how disorganized things were from a management perspective, and how many roles he was truly taking on when he became a supervisor. I believe some of the difficulties of his position come from working for such a small and under-funded facility. Nevertheless, there will always be unexpected difficulties that arise for anyone in a leadership position. Adaptability is key for leaders.

As I looked at several different leadership theories, I thought about how these might apply to nursing specifically. Truly I feel that throughout my time as a nurse assistant and now as a nurse, I have had the chance to see many different approaches to leadership. I have certainly seen those approaches that do not work well. From what I have seen, poor leaders lead to high turnover for a unit or facility, although other factors may contribute as well. I think finding effective leaders in nursing can be extremely critical, as the job itself is intense and requires a lot from employees. An ineffective leader only contributes to the stress of the employees and tests their endurance.

Part of our assignment this week was to take the DISC Personality Test. After taking the test, I found that I scored equally in the I and C categories. I stands for Influential and C stands for Conscientious. The descriptions for these personality types summed me up pretty well, taken together. The information was not necessarily new to me, but I do enjoy hearing more about how my personality interacts with others because it helps me to understand better why I feel the way I do in certain situations. This effects my leadership style because I understand that there may be certain traits I do not inherently have that would be useful to develop in order to become a better leader. For example, part of my conscientious personality likes to avoid conflict, which I have noticed in my job as a nurse more than ever. However, conflict is usually unavoidable, so it would be wise for me to develop some of the D (dominant) personality traits, like learning to be more straightforward. I will use the knowledge this test gives me to work on some of those.

Thanks for reading!

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Hi! My name is Rylee. I am a Registered Nurse currently living and working in Orange County, California. The purpose of this blog is to share what I am learning over the next few months in a leadership class. The class is meant to help develop my leadership skills as a nurse and in life in general! Hopefully you will be able to learn from me as I record my thoughts and experiences.

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