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Week 3 – Reflective Journal

Here is a summary of what I have learned during this week in Nursing Leadership:

1. My main takeaway from class this week is learning what makes a good and bad interview when interviewing potential clients for a position, and what are good types of questions to ask during said interview. I really enjoyed watching the lecture for this week because our professor went into depth all about the behind the scenes of hiring new employees for a position. He answered a lot of questions that I have had about how that process works and he taught everything very clearly. I now know how I will conduct with future interviews if I am ever in that position. I will use good behavioral based questions, I will make sure to not ask any illegal questions, and I will make sure that not only is the interviewee a good fit for the position but also that we are a good fit for them. 

2. This week we had the opportunity to work as a team and discuss different potential employees and out of the options, which person we would want to hire for the position. It was interesting reading through everyone’s opinions and realizing we all had different opinions about who we should hire and why. It made me realize that we all see different things we want to see because we all have different backgrounds and likes and dislikes that can sway our opinions. It was also really good to compare our ideas and come to a decision because it showed that we had good teamwork and we respect each others thoughts. My opinion didn’t change about who I thought was better for the position but I was able to see why the other candidate was also a really good choice. 

3. I’ve realized that it’s important to compare ALL qualities of a candidate to the rest of the candidate pool. There will never be a perfect applicant so it’s important to weight the pros and cons and determine who will be the best fit for that particular position. It’s also more important to assess for behavior rather than strictly resume because you want to see how this person is going to handle this particular job. Sometimes that perfect person won’t have the perfect resume. I also learned how important it as a future nurse leader and potential manager that it’s important to be flexible. People aren’t staying at jobs as long as they used to so it’s important to recognize that turnover will probably be high and you always have to be ready to fill those positions. 

4. I really enjoyed learning the material this week. It wasn’t so much applicable to my current position as a new graduate nurse but it was really good to lean about what the hiring process is like because one day I’ll probably be involved in that. It’s always informative to learn the behind the scenes of something that you’re involved in and I really enjoyed that. 

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Week 2 – Reflective Journal

Hey everyone! I can’t believe that week 2 is already over. This week I’ve had the opportunity to learn about several areas of leadership and how it applies to nursing and in our future roles as nurse leaders. Here is a summary of what I’ve learned and why it’s important to me:

First, one of the activities that really stood out to me this week was that we had to watch the move Ender’s Game and pay attention to the different leaders that were present in the movie. I had never seen this movie before so although it was really entertaining, I was surprised at how well this movie taught me about good vs. poor leadership. I learned that a good leader doesn’t just lead and guide the team, but is also apart of the team. This means that if the team goes down, you down with them. I also learned that a good leader will always encourage and support their team members. A leader wants to see their team succeed and to be their best selves. A leader doesn’t feel the need to outshine because they want what’s best for everyone. Overall it was a really good movie and I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to learn about leadership. Besides the movie, I also learned that everyone is pretty much a leader in their own way. Sometimes we may look at someone and think there is no way that they could be a leader but in the end everyone has leadership qualities, no matter how unique they are. 

Second, the team activity that we had this week was really good. We were asked to go through a list of people that we were given and pick out which of them were leaders and why. We ended up saying that everyone listed on that list was a leader because every single one of them had lead a group or an event in someway. Even though some of the people on this list would be considered bad people, they were still leaders in their own way. Doing this activity completely changed my opinion on the subject of leadership because I’ve realized that everyone is a leader in their own way. Just because someone doesn’t have the typical leadership qualities that we think of doesn’t mean that they would do a great job at leading something.

Third, moving forward there are several ways that I can envision myself using this information in my nursing practice. I’ve realized that one day I’ll be a nurse leader and everyone on my floor will have their own strengths that they can bring to the table. It’s a good leadership quality to get help from those that you are leading and to listen to their ideas. I also learned that I don’t need to compare my leadership qualities to someone else. Just because I don’t have a very dominant personality doesn’t mean that I won’t make a great leader one day. It’s important to believe in yourself and to just look out for those that you lead. 

Overall, I really enjoyed the learning material this week and I believe I’ve learned a lot about what it means to be a good vs. bad leader. It’s been good for me to learn about what leadership qualities I possess and how I can use them to help those that I lead. I also learned that I have qualities that won’t help me in a leadership position so now I know where those weaknesses are and I can ask others for help who have those strengths. Delegation is important and in the end it’s all about making your team feel like you are on their side. 

 

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Characteristics of Leaders

1. Leadership requires personal mastery – Nurses demonstrate leadership when they show competence and mastery in the tasks they perform. Nurses are deemed competent by means of a license to practice nursing (NLN 2010).

2. Leadership is about values – Nurses bring their own values to the team. They understand the importance of honesty because they work with a very vulnerable population that requires help and guidance. Nurses are also diligent, hard working, and compassionate when working with their patients. These are important qualities that an effective leader must possess. 

3. Leadership is about service – The core of the nursing profession is to serve our patients and each other. Nurses demonstrate this type of leadership by going above and beyond what they are asked to put their patients first. It’s a profession that requires a lot of compassion and love. 

4. Leadership is about people and relationships – Nurses demonstrate leadership because they spend their entire shifts getting to know their patients and their families. They understand that the patient isn’t just a patient but a person with fears and desires and deserves the best care. 

5. Leadership is contextual – Nurses demonstrate leadership because they adapt to their environment extremely well and are constantly changing in order to fit the needs of their patients. No patient case is ever the same and the nurse will find a way to fill the needs of that patient during that time. 

6. Leadership is about the management of meaning –  Nurses show leadership by knowing how to communicate effectively with their teammates in order to care for their patients. Good communication skills are necessary in order to prevent misinterpretation of orders and delegated tasks. 

7. Leadership is about balance – Nurses demonstrate leadership by being able to experience some of the hardest situations at work, such as death and suffering, but are able to go home and still love and be present with their family and friends. They understand they must enjoy life in order to continue to give and serve at work. 

8. Leadership is about continuous learning and improvement – Nurses demonstrate leadership by continually learning new skills and information in order to improve the way they care for their patients. Nurses understand that people’s lives are in their hands so they want to know the correct information so their patients get the best care. 

9. Leadership is about effective decision making – Nurses demonstrate leadership by 

10. Leadership is a political process – Nurses show leadership by understanding their own biases and opinions but not letting them influence how they care for patients. It’s also important for nurses to understand to how to get along with all members of the interdisciplinary team without letting egos get in the way. 

11. Leadership is about modeling –  Nurses demonstrate leadership by mentoring others and acting as a role model to other nurses, students, and members of the interdisciplinary team. Nurses understand that people are watching them at all times. 

12. Leadership is about integrity – Nurses demonstrate great leadership daily when they are required to make ethical and moral decisions when it comes to the care of their patients. Nurses understand that in order to help their patients they must also be living in such a way that shows the patients that they are trustworthy. 

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DISC Personality Test

My results for the DISC personality test were as follows:

Dominant: 4

Influential: 5

Steady: 3

Conscientious: 3

 Based on the test results, I am an “influential” person more than any of the other categories. According to the test, this means that I am more of a people oriented person than a task oriented person. I define myself by my relationships and I am interested in people and helping people feel comfortable. When I saw that this was my result I was a little surprised because I thought for sure I would fall under the “study” category. However, after reading through the categories I can see why I got the results that I did and I think they ring true to who I am. I definitely worry and think about people when I am doing a task and how it will effect them more than the task itself and I enjoy and value good relationships in my life. I wouldn’t say I’m the most social person in the world but I do enjoy being around people. 

I think knowing that I am a people-oriented person over being task-oriented does help me know what kind of leader I am/would be. I know that my strength would be in getting to know the people that I lead and I would enjoy getting to know them and listening to their stories. If they need to talk about things that are happening then I know I would be the kind of person that would want to listen to them and promote change so they could be happier. I think one of the weaknesses in my leadership styles would be having a hard time having hard conversations with people. If I knew I had to fire some people because of budget cuts or something then that would be very difficult for me. I don’t just like doing things because it’s a task I’m given. I want to make sure that it means something when I do it and firing means making someone feel bad. 

This test has helped me learn a little bit more about myself and the type of leader that I am. Knowing that I am an “influential” person after this test, it helps me know what my strengths and weaknesses are. Because of this knowledge, I want to work on my strengths to make them stronger. For example, knowing that I am a people person means that I know I can bring that to the table. When the need arises I’ll make sure that I volunteer so I can help and strengthen that trait. I also know that I want to work on my weaknesses, which means being more meticulous in my work and more detail-oriented. 

 

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Meet Ciara

My name is Ciara and I recently graduated from UVU’s nursing program in December of 2019. I have accepted a job at Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George and I will be working on the float pool team as an RN. I’m so excited for the opportunity that I will have to learn and grow as a nurse in a field that will stretch me and require me to be adaptable as I work on almost all the units at the hospital. My long term goal would be to one day go back to school and get my DNP at the University of Utah in women’s health and midwifery. Until then, I’m excited to finally be a nurse and am looking forward to expanding my knowledge.

The purpose of this blog is to track my progress and growth as I learn during the BSN program. I will be recording thoughts that I have and things that I learn about what makes a good leader and what I hope to apply in my career as a future nurse leader. Once this class is over, I hope to refer back on this blog to help me remember the valuable information that I’ll have written here.