Christian Nurse Leadership
Nursing practice is changing drastically in the USA during the 21st century. This is because nurses are taking a great leadership role in healthcare compared to previous years. The courageous Christian nurses want to change and improve the treatment outcome of the patients they serve. They have adopted the servant leadership, which they combine with clinical aspects to achieve quality health care. In fact, Christian nurses influence other nurses from other faith to change their perception and approach health care holistically. Democratic leadership is where an organization distributes power to employees and managers. The leadership ensures that staff becomes part of the decision making by giving them an opportunity to share their thoughts. This is critical for the nursing practice because nurses are the people dealing with patients directly. The study examines the democratic leadership and the way it influences leadership perspective, the ethical and legal implication that could surface from the leadership style, the way Christian worldview influences team building, and creating a culture of success influenced by a Christian worldview.
The Rationale of Impact of Quality of Care in Patients’ Lives
One of the challenges affecting the American household is the healthcare cost. On average, a household in America spends about 20% of their income on medical cost (Storch, Makaroff, Pauly, and Newton, 2013). This implies that every year, more than 6.1 million Americans do not meet medical care, which can cause death or disability. According to Bender (2016), the largest portion continuing to American’s national debt is Medicaid and Medicare expenses. Therefore, to ensure that many people access health care, the nurse leaders should be dedicated to improving the quality and safety healthcare. Fry et al. (2017) assert that nursing leadership style has a direct influence on the safety of the patient. This is because the nurse leader has the ability to engage nurses and educate them on the importance of providing quality services. In addition, they improve the patient outcome and attain higher levels of patient safety. Christian nurse leaders are ordained to take care of the people. Proverb 27:23 provide that Go calls Christian nurse leaders should care for God’s people (New International Version (NIV), 2017). Therefore, as a Christian nurse leader, there is need to improve health outcome by taking every aspect of culture and morals into consideration. In this regard, the nurses are to not only care for God’s people but also protect the economic viability of the United States government.
In the past, many people have contributed significantly to the improvement of health outcome for the patient. For example, the nurse servant leader Dorothea Dix spoke with elected officials in North America to introduce mental hospital to provide services to the poor (Winans, 2015). Although there were many challenges, Dix proved that every nurse has the power to change his/her environment. In fact, she proofs the power of love, which is an inspiration to the lives of people. This provides a good example of servant leader since he worked for the good of people. In 1 John 3:16, Jesus sacrificed His life for the sake of sinners and other humankind who chose to believe Him (NIV, 2017). Therefore, servant nurses should improve the quality of health to the patients.
How Worldview Affect Leadership Styles and Perspectives
Ideally, great leaders apply their leadership style that matches the organization they are working for. In addition, it depends on the situation and the team’s specific needs. Porter-O’Grady and Malloch (2016) indicated that the leadership style a manager adopts in an organization contributes to 30% of the company’s profitability. This implies that an effective leader analyzes a situation at hand and provides a solution to the problem facing them.
The belief and value of the leader also have a significant influence on his/her leadership style. That is, the action of an individual stem from what he/she believes and fundamental values he/she has been holding in the past. The Bible provides that in the world, there is good and evil. However, it begins with a person’s heart. Therefore, any leadership style chose by an individual result from his/her internal values and belief system (O’Brien, 2011). Therefore, to become a Christian leader, a person should accept God in his/her life and believe that Jesus is the son of God. When a person accepts Jesus Christ in his/her life, he/she receives a new heart, which is pure. As a result, he/she becomes the child of God. Once the nurses conceptualize the idea, he/she becomes a good leader since the worldly motives and pleasures but God does not direct him/her. Ezekiel 36:26 postulates that when a person accepts Jesus into his heart, the spirits resides in him (NIV, 2017). Such a person has the ability to do the right things because the Holy Spirit guides him in his ways. God has given the servant leaders the opportunity to promote His glory. Therefore, the leaders are given the task to use their gifts wisely and work for the people.
Before a person becomes a leader, he/she should conceptualize and understand his/her self-awareness, beliefs, values, experience, and culture. The factors are important since they influence the way a person leads a given group. Kelly and Tazbir (2014) argue that the underlying beliefs and values are consistent with the way a person leads others. Moreover, leadership requires a person to examine and understand his/her weaknesses and strengths. This is because an effective leader has to show his/her true color to the people he/she is leading.
The nurse leaders should also understand the types of leadership styles available and their effects on an organization. For example, the available types of leadership styles practiced in the current business environment include authoritative leadership, autocratic leadership, and participative, and laissez-faire. The application of these types of leadership styles depends on the nature of people in the organization and the customers (Kelly & Tazbir, 2014). However, people should be directed on what they do. This is because in many instances when people are left alone without guidance, they become lazy or fail to accomplish the task in time. On the flip side, God does not want people lazy people who want to reap what they did not sow. Therefore, managers use leadership style they thinks will be effective to the organization as well as increase the profitability.
Personal Leadership Style
My leadership style is participative or democratic. I have learned that it is important to build a good relationship with other students and staff. This is because building good relationship with other staff enables me to think positively. Moreover, I am capable of learning new things, which will go unnoticed if I don’t interact with them. I realized that many nurse managers are reaching their age of retirement. Soon, they will leave the service and create a vacuum that ought to be filled. Therefore, it was the right time to fill the gap. I noted from the organization I was that leadership style affects the quality of the healthcare. This is because the leaders I found were autocratic and never realized the significance of ensuring the safety and quality of health services. They did not allow the staff to be part of the team proposing treatment, diagnosis, and referrals. I thought that participative leadership would address the problem since. This is because in participative leadership, there is inclusivity whereby the staff becomes part of the decision making. In fact, the staff feels satisfied since they feel part of the organization.
As a leader, I found that participative leadership style enabled me to establish good relations with other members. In addition, I believed that it would help me leave a legacy for the future nurse leaders. White and Scott (2015) argue that in case a nurse leader fails to unite people and build a good relationship, his/her influence is limited. Therefore, I used a democratic leadership when as a unit we wanted to introduce a new development or technique of treatment in the department. When each member gives his/her opinion about the changes, it affects each of them proportionately. As a result, the implementation becomes easy and faster.
This year has been a joy and a trial for me. I have learned that it is important to plan before starting something so that it ends well. Leaders that fail in their duty did not plan well from the beginning. In fact, they do not create a succession plan where other leaders can continue with such mission. Thus, it is important to be a good leader who teaches others the way to handle the situations in the organization before leaving for retirement. This depicts the life of Jesus since when He left, His disciples carried out His mission by communicating the love of the Father in Heaven. As a Christian leader, I realized that I have the same mission to create space for others to continue facilitating the adoption of participative leadership. This is because it gives every staff the opportunity to contribute to the management of the organization. In fact, a leader should be obedient to the calling of the Father. In Exodus 20:23, the Bible says that God will show His favor to the thousands of generations who are willing to follow His command (NIV, 2017). Therefore, for a Christian leader, any success realized in the organization depends on fear for God and respecting other colleagues in the working place.
Ethical and Legal Implication that Affect Leaders
In the USA, the use and understanding of ethics in nursing is crucial for the practice. The increase in technology in the nursing sector is bringing an ethical dilemma that has never been debated by health professionals. Merrill (2015) asserts that the nurse leaders should understand the use of technology in ensuring the safety of the patient while protecting the patient’s confidentiality. Although technology offers solutions to the health problems people face in life, professionals and the society is still struggling with achieving dignified end of life care. Currently, the nurses want the government to accept genetic engineering and personalized medicine to advance treatment. However, for the development to be effective, the nurses should have guiding principles, which enable them to steer the profession forward (Makaroff, Storch, Pauly & Newton, 2014).
The legal role of the nurse leader is to ensure that he/she creates an environment supporting professional practice, improve health care quality, and promote employee engagement. Makaroff, Storch, Pauly, and Newton (2014) assert that nursing leadership has a strong bearing on the safety and health outcome of the patient. Thus, the nurse leader is held responsible for legal and ethical standard within their organization. Therefore, failure to meet the standards put by the nursing body it causes harm to the patient. In the case, the patient is hurt in the process; he/she has the right to take legal step to report the nurse leader for negligence.
The nurse leader has the legal responsibility to take quality control of the nursing practice. That is, the nurse leader has the duty of guiding the front line staff towards achieving the goals, efficiency, and quality health services. Hutchinson and Jackson (2013) assert that the nurse leader is ethically and legally responsible to control and monitor the subordinate staff. In the process, he/she can address the areas of concern such as communication problems, safety issues, and understaffing. In fact, it gives the subordinate staffs an opportunity to discuss issues related to job satisfaction and motivation.
God expects leaders to follow the laws and rules established by the government to guide the society. In Romans 13:17, the Bible says that God is the God of orders and peace (NIV, 2017). Therefore, the laws of the land are there to be maintained and protected by people who live with it. However, the nurse leader might be confronted with ethical dilemma especially when the laws are vague or result in a conflict. The American Nurse Association established codes of ethics, which guide the nurse leaders to make certain decisions (Porter-O’Grady & Malloch, 2016). The document requires the nurse to respect the decision by the patient. In the treatment process, the nurse must include the family members of the patient so that they can give their opinion. In addition, the autonomy of the patient should be observed all the time. Porter-O’Grady and Malloch (2016) affirm that the AMA document requires the nurse to combine skills and art of the professional nursing when practicing at the highest level. This reveals that the underlying objective of the document is to promote respect and dignity. In addition, the nurse should be culturally sensitive and use evidence-based care for all the patients.
The nurse practice act contains provisions and regulations protecting the public against harm and unsafe nursing practice. Balboni, Puchalski, and Peteet (2014) define the nurse practice act as a set of standards required by the nursing board to guide the nurses in their profession and practice. In fact, the foundation of the act is based on the Holy Scripture. For example, The Bible requires leaders to be concerned about the welfare of others. In fact, God does not allow leaders to use their power and position to infringe the rights of others (White & Scott, 2015). Therefore, a sensitive nursing leader should incorporate the laws provided by God in the Bible with the AMA documents to achieve quality health care and safety for the patient.
Building Healthy Team and Cultural Success
The USA is experiencing legislative changes concerning nursing management, which affect them directly. The healthcare reforms are giving the nurse leaders a bigger role to ensure that they deliver quality services as required. Kelly and Tazbir (2014) affirm that as the nurse get remolded, they find the past leadership styles such as autocratic ineffective. Therefore, they must move quickly to practice participative leadership style in order to empower others and make them feel valuable. Winans (2015) argues that with the complexity in the nursing practice, leaders should build health care team, which will be responsible to change the pace, and the way things are done in the hospital setting. Team building is critical for the organization since they adapt quickly and focus on providing quality healthcare (Hutchinson & Jackson, 2013). Servant leaders build a team strong enough to mentor others and watch the activities around them. However, before bringing the team together, the leader should communicate and display the value of each member. This is because each member is unique and brings something good to the group. The Bible postulates that when people work together, they become efficient and work effectively.
A Christian nurse leader persuades others to provide quality care and safety. This is achieved by pooling skills, energy, and knowledge of the entire team. Fry et al. (2016) argue that the nurse leader can influence strong team through a robust management of talents. In addition, the leader should ensure that members of the group become aware of their cultural differences. The Christian worldview is that a good leader should allow people to understand that they are unique (Bender, 2016). God created people with differences on earth so that we can unite to achieve great things in life. Moreover, understanding the cultural difference of the patient allows the nurse to look at things from the patient’s perspective. Therefore, patient safety originates from the good relationship between the team members and the way they are committed to improving the patient safety.
Servant leaders often portray similar character traits such as fostering collaboration, articulating the goals, and appreciating other team members. The health reforms in the United States require the leaders to be servants so that patients can receive better health care. O’Brien (2011) indicates that healthcare organizations having servant leadership make employees feel happier and satisfied compared to others. This implies that servant leadership care for both patients and customers since they receive the services at the right time. An effective servant leader combines other leadership styles to govern people (Hutchinson & Jackson, 2013). This is because a servant leader ensures that he/she observes ethical and moral components. Moreover, a servant leader coach individuals so that they can reach their highest potential. A good example of a servant leader in the history of America was Gerard Thom. He was the founder of Hospitallers who ensured that nurses working under him got the skills required to achieve quality health services (Hutchinson & Jackson, 2013). Another example was James Derham who fought for the freedom of nurses in America especially the African American nurses. He ensured that there was equality in service delivery.
Quality Care/Patient Safety
The Christian worldview has affected the quality of the healthcare in a positive manner. The worldview provides that a nurse should focus on stewardship and compassion when delivering health care services (Merrill, 2015). In Mathew 25:40, God requires the health practitioners to care for those who cannot care for themselves (NIV, 2017). This shows brotherhood and togetherness during the time of trouble. Therefore, the nurses have the responsibility of ensuring that they provide quality health services in order to glorify the Kingdom of God. Porter-O’Grady and Malloch (2016) cite that a leader with compassion is willing to provide high quality healthcare at a low cost. This is because the nurse is driven by the desire to protect life and safety of the patient rather than money. For example, two doctors founded a Surgery Center of Oklahoma where they decided to set a flat rate cost for every procedure including airfare and recovery at a local hotel (Winans, 2015). The cost is a half than the typical hospital. This demonstrates compassion and love for humankind. The fact that the Christian nurse leaders push for safety and quality of healthcare, it promotes a healthy nation and productivity. In Colossians 3:22, the Bible says that when a person performs his/her job well with a good attitude, there is a higher chance of receiving God’s mercy (NIV, 2017). This is because the person fulfils the desire of God and understands that God rewards people who work tirelessly to improve the lives of others. Therefore, the nurses should adjust their mindset to ensure that they perform duties pleasing God.
How Leaders Serve As a Role Model to the World
A Christian nurse leader should be a role model to the world since he/she is the model of Jesus at a workplace. When a leader performs a work with the right attitude and with the highest quality, he/she inspires others at the workplace (Winans, 2015). Christians should understand that God is the boss in every situation and rewards leaders who work tirelessly for the nation. Roman 8:17 postulates that Christians should do best in what they do regardless of the situation (NIV, 2017). Therefore, a leader should also treat others with respect. That is, the leader should humble himself/herself and avoid self-absorption. This is because God has given every person a unique calling to perform and the ability to become a leader. Therefore, a servant leader should be democratic by creating the culture of success and the environment to motivate others.
In order to ensure that people access health care in the USA, the Christian nurse leaders should be dedicated to improving the quality and safety healthcare. The Christian nurse leaders taking every aspect of culture and morals into consideration will improve health care delivery. The action of an individual stem from what a person believes and the fundamental values he/she hold. The nurse leader has the legal responsibility to take quality control of the nursing practice. In addition, they should comply with the nurse practice act contains provisions and regulations protecting the public against harm and unsafe nursing practice. Therefore, a sensitive nursing leader should incorporate the laws provided by God in the Bible with the AMA documents to achieve quality health care and safety for the patient. Leaders should build health care team, which will be responsible to change the pace, and the way things are done in the hospital setting. A servant leader who fosters collaboration, articulates the goals, and appreciates other team members often achieve high health delivery. The nurses have the responsibility of ensuring that they provide quality health services in order to glorify the Kingdom of God. In fact, the leader should humble himself/herself and avoid self-absorption.
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