IntroductionLeadership is part of the innovation in healthcare represented by advanced practice nursing which includes new roles for graduate level nurses. Per the question, there are four areas of focus for the nursing profession, that being the clinical practice, health policy and systems. What is required in order to take on such a role, and do I have the right personality traits and leadership style in order to succeed in such a mission? To better understand my fit for this role I completed a self-test regarding leadership found on the About Psychology site (n.d.). What follows describes my results, and the implications for my future role in advancing healthcare as a graduate level nurse.

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Findings
After taking the quiz, I found that I was a participative type of leader. In Kurt Lewin’s research and theory, participative leadership was called democratic leadership (About.com Psychology 2015). This stands in contrast to authoritarian styles of leadership and laissez faire. Neither of these styles would fit well with current needs in nursing, as they would either reproduce the current status or they would reinforce a management by rules rather than enthusiasm for better outcomes through specified supports, and this would not have the same positive outcomes.

Participative leadership is usually described as one that leverages the skills and capacities of the group in order to meet goals. Such leaders value all roles in the group and ensure they have the capacity to contribute their input while using leadership to synthesize these opinions of the group with the reality of performance, outcomes and potential improvements (About.com Psychology 2015). This style of leadership is more aligned with the ideals and values of nursing leadership, such as inclusion of all stakeholder perspectives and the developing consensus for change through disseminating the facts about the current situation and the potential based on new methods.

Reflection
I felt that the test results were an accurate reflection of my approach to leadership, but I was in awe of the description of how participatory leadership could create positive change. I was a bit overwhelmed at the hugeness of the task, and I realized having a particular style does not mean that you have maximized the skills required to excel in this style of leadership. Given the potential of the participatory leader, this is definitely something I want to pursue. That is not to say that I do not see certain advantages of other leadership styles in certain situations. The best type of leader would be able to adjust their approach to the circumstances, and I hope to be that sort of leader.

Leadership attributes for graduate level nurses
For graduate level nurses intending to excel in analyzing, developing and leading in the areas of profession, clinical practice, policy and systems certain personality and leadership traits are necessary. These include diverse areas such as persuasive ability, a detailed orientation to planning and monitoring, organizational leadership and engagement and inclusion of staff in the process of change. Advanced practice nursing leadership requires a shift in thinking and a change to the status quo and traditional processes in order to optimize outcomes and working environment (Carter et al., 2010). In order to undertake the systematic analysis and development plan which is needed, nurse leaders must both seek answers through quantitative analysis, benchmarks, performance monitoring and processes for improvement and another is promoting the importance and optimization of the new nursing role (Carter et al., 2010). A component of any such endeavor is the consultation and engagement of stakeholders (Carter et al., 2010). Another important issue which nurse leaders face in undertaking to transform the status quo in healthcare and nursing is advancing the business case for dedicated funding to advanced nursing practice and the infrastructure which supports it (Carter et al., 2010). An important leadership attributes, in addition to leveraging and including the group in the process of change, is speaking truth to power.

Research has shown that participatory leadership styles make a contribution to nurse leadership. In one study, the impact of participatory action by nurse leaders in a rural healthcare context in Australia was shown to be an effective approach to the necessary changes which were required, described as a need to dispel myths regarding the nursing model, embracing and disseminating the big picture, the ability to connect with stakeholders, persuade and to understand one’s own leadership behavior (Bish et al., 2013). Adelman (1993) described how the democratic or participatory leadership style could contribute greatly to transformation and change by developing participation and support for new and better ways in many areas. I am glad to hear that my approach is one that will fit with the needs of my role in facilitating change through information, participation and transformation.

Developing as a leader
A more difficult aspect for me or one that I could focus on for improvement is the leadership skills which will improve my capacity to advocate, lobby and ultimately transform healthcare services. This requires a diverse skill set as well as leadership traits. While the participatory leadership style facilitates the listening and engagement of the concerns of stakeholders, particularly in management roles, of the importance of the changes which nurse leadership brings it also requires the ability to strongly advocate for the change based on group consensus, quantitative investigation and findings with regard to patient outcomes and cost efficiency and the confidence in oneself and the message to carry out such a confrontation with the traditional way of doing things in healthcare.

There are many attributes that I wish to develop, now that I see the incredible potential to make enthusiastic change that serves patients, healthcare and workers. These include the ability to consistently transmit a cultural value regarding the importance of accurate documentation, the analytical capacity to see areas where improvements to process and procedure can save lives, facilitate healthcare workers in their roles and increase positive outcomes. It includes many skills and leadership traits require convincing staff and colleagues as well as management of a new framework for thinking about healthcare services and the role of nursing. This includes everything from creating PowerPoint presentation to understanding the corporate and business case justifications for taking on a new and innovative model of nursing and healthcare.

Conclusion
“The results suggest that nurse administrators must develop strategies to create work environments that allow nurses to practice according to professional standards, thereby increasing work satisfaction, preventing burnout, and assuring that patients are provided with safe effective high-quality care” (Laschinger & Leiter, 2006, 259). The best way for graduate level nurses to achieve such an objective is by transforming the healthcare setting and the role of nurses from the inside out. It is important to the objectives of advanced practice nursing that each graduate level nurse be able to implement these new models of healthcare and new roles for nurses. This will involve leadership and courage. In order to change the negative situation for nurses, the healthcare system must be improved to allow for new models where nurses can better help patients, and this requires nurse leadership to assist in transforming models, frameworks and practice. By doing this, all stakeholders seek to gain advantage, and who could argue with that? That it sort of presentation that must be made in order to create this positive transformation.

    References
  • About.com Psychology. (2015). Leadership Styles What’s Your Style of Leadership? Retrieved
    from .
  • About.com Psychology. (n.d.). Quiz – What’s your leadership style? Retrieved
    from .
  • Adelman, C. (1993). Kurt Lewin and the origins of action research. Educational action research, 1(1), 7-24.
  • Bish, M., Kenny, A., & Nay, R. (2013). Using participatory action research to foster nurse leadership in Australian rural hospitals. Nursing & health sciences, 15(3), 286-291.
  • Carter, N., Martin-Misener, R., Kilpatrick, K., Kaasalainen, S., Donald, F., Bryant-Lukosius, D., & DiCenso, A. (2010). The role of nursing leadership in integrating clinical nurse specialists and nurse practitioners in healthcare delivery in Canada. Nursing Leadership, 23, 167-185.
  • Laschinger, H. K. S., & Leiter, M. P. (2006). The impact of nursing work environments on patient safety outcomes: The mediating role of burnout engagement. Journal of Nursing Administration, 36(5), 259-267