Self-assessment is a fundamental component of nursing practice. It is required for effective planning and when providing care for both patients and their families. Many healthcare systems have been regarded as unsafe and fragmented. Indeed, this fragmentation in the health sector has been rated as one of the contributing factors to medication errors, which lead to increased mortality rates and reduced quality of care (Manning, 2015). Hence, to transform the healthcare industry, educational development for nurse leaders is critical. Thus, to meet those requirements, individuals should enroll in the Masters of Science in Clinical Nurse Leaders programs.
Therefore, to clearly articulate my value and show evidence of my competence regarding education and professional role, I have found the need to develop my competency analysis, which will offer a deeper understanding of the scope of my professional experience, education, and evaluations. I look forward to acquiring my Master’s of Science degree in Nursing Clinical Management. Competent nursing leadership is an essential attribute that enhances patient-centered, result-oriented, and evidence-based care (American Organization of Nurse Executives, 2015). In this regard, an excellent nurse leader must possess appropriate educational preparation, effective communication skills, business skills, and adequate knowledge of the healthcare environment.
The Management Self-Assessment
Communication and Relationship Building
Understanding the types of communication skills and the appropriate scenarios that can be applied is an essential competency for any nursing leader with the intentions of exploring the heights of quality healthcare (Daley & Mort, 2014). As well, the ability to build and maintain relationships with core-workers is a critical aspect that ensures activities are done appropriately. I believe that communication and active listening are essential in nursing practice. I possess both verbal and written communication skills, which are vital prerequisites when dealing with my core-workers and patients. When offering services, I use straightforward language when addressing any concern.
One of my roles at Wolfson Children’s Hospital was to perform HIV tests for expectant mothers with the aim of lowering the rates of mother to child transmission. I was required to offer thorough counseling before conducting the HIV tests. During one of my testing sessions, I encountered a couple who required my intervention and creativity to meet their needs. The young woman was expecting her firstborn. Although the man was learned, his wife did not have a formal education and hence written communication would not be appropriate. I used a pictographic method to explain the possible test outcomes and the implication of each result before conducting the test. It was until she understood the test results that I took blood samples.
Written communication is also another area I have mastered. Although this skill is often overlooked, written communication skills are vital when dealing with the public. I always ensure that I proofread my work to enhance accuracy and precision through proper spelling and grammar. When conveying written information that is poorly worded, full of errors and misspelled, the audience can get distracted and might not capture the communicated message.
In essence, good relationships should create conducive working environments. I possess the ability to initiate and maintain working relationships for mutual benefit. Relationship building can enhance interaction between the nurse and the patients while preventing medication errors. I always ensure that I develop and maintain good relationships with my fellow workers, patients, and their families. Such initiative enhances my interaction with the patients and their families, especially when determining the treatment procedure for the sick and the expected outcome of several medical approaches.
Knowledge of the Healthcare Environments
As the healthcare sector continues to focus on increasing the numbers of patient-safety initiatives, nurse leaders must be at the core of their decisions. The roles of nurse leaders may include planning, implementing, and assessing patient care by coordinating, allocating, and overseeing the treatment and care given to patients by the healthcare providers at the clinical level (Sawaengdee, Kantamaturapoj, Seneerattanaprayul, Putthasri, & Suphanchaimat, 2016). Therefore, a highly-skilled nurse leader should have the ability to understand the complexity of healthcare delivery systems.
I will use my qualification to illustrate my professional experience. Two years ago, I was working in a 24-bed health unit at Wolfson Children’s Hospital based in Florida. I spent most of my time with patients and nurses. I reviewed the medical records of my patients, which gave me a chance to examine the upcoming shift’s plan of care for every patient in the ward. The process also offered me an opportunity to plan for the entire procedural activities for each patient throughout their hospitalization period.
Furthermore, this was followed by assessing critically ill patients and participating in education programs while interacting with patients and their family. During my daily routine, I would review the plan of treatment and care with each family and address concerns about the condition of their children. In addition, I collaborated with the staff nurse in every unit while reviewing their concerns about the patients as well as daily discharge planning. After evaluating data from chart reviews, I then participated in physician rounds. It is worth noting that the ongoing education process is key to acquiring the understanding of the complexities of the healthcare delivery systems and providing quality care to my patients.
Across the healthcare continuum, professional nurses are viewed as leaders, regardless of their practice setting. Nurse leaders have the responsibility of planning the process of patient care, setting goals within the professional teams, promoting quality care, and budgeting activities. They also superintend the staff’s daily activities that include performance and professional development (Fukada, 2018). I believe that leaders are problem solvers. Apart from my daily responsibilities, I initiate changes when necessary. Solving an immediate problem helps to deal with the situation at hand and prevent issues from escalating.
Nevertheless, similar situations are bound to arise in the future. When nurses seek to solve the problem at hand, I usually pursue a solution to resolve the issue for other patients in the future by rectifying the process. I also check on the unit policies to ascertain that they are evidence-based. For instance, I developed quick-reference books to care for patients with chronic respiratory problems at Wolfson Hospital. Being on the forefront in an attempt to transform the nursing practice in the healthcare system are some of the activities that demonstrate my leadership skills.
Every expert has a responsibility to ensure that their practice meets the standards of the profession and to conduct their practice in an ethical manner (Fukada, 2018). I am aware of the patient’s right to privacy and confidentiality, and how it affects whom I talk to about the patient’s welfare. During my clinical practice, a friend to one of my patients inquired about the results of a test I had carried out. Although she might be the one who was taking care of the patient and she needed the results to determine the care required, I explained to her that I could reveal the results or discuss the patients’ condition without their consent because it was unethical and against the Privacy Act. Notably, this is one of the scenarios where I have applied professional standards and guidelines to direct and maintain a safe and clinically competent practice.
Nurse leadership practice requires practitioners to possess business skills, which include the knowledge of financial, human resource, and strategic management, as well as budgeting and allocation of resources within various units (Zuckerman, 2014). The rapidly transforming healthcare sector requires leaders to use strategic planning while being cautious about meeting the healthcare needs of different communities. Business planning is also a critical aspect of strategic planning. It includes the SWOT analysis of strategic planning undertakings, financial forecasts, an assessment of the current markets, and implementation plans with timelines (Anderson, Smith, Stinson, & Fitzpatrick, 2014). Working at the leadership level in a hospital setup has enhanced my understanding of healthcare financing.
My strengths, notwithstanding, I feel that there is a need to improve in various areas while learning new skills. I understand that I should upgrade my communication since I am a reserved person. Many are times that I reserve my perspective instead of airing it, especially when I am supposed to address a group of people. I will also need to improve my business skills to enhance my competence and to thrive in the ever-changing healthcare sector. As a priority, I look forward to strengthening areas of concern to close my current skills gap by the time I finish this course. Finally, I will do a personal SWOT analysis to understand my areas of weaknesses and focus on improving them, while looking for opportunities to enhance my competency.