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Self-Awareness and Leadership in Nursing

  • 14 Pages
  • Published On: 24-11-2023

In nursing, self-awareness and leadership are two vital aspects considered that assist in developing a therapeutic relationship with patients and deliver them quality care. Thus, these two aspects are focussed for discussion in the reflective essay. The self-awareness is important in nursing as it helps the nurses to know regarding themselves and determine the actions to be taken to rectify them to be able to deliver quality care to the patients (Haley et al., 2017). In addition, enhanced self-leadership is required by the nurses as it helps them to personally direct thoughts and actions to work as a leader as well as a team member in delivering appropriate care (Goldsby et al., 2020).

In this essay, the concepts regarding self-awareness and self-leadership along with the concepts of professional responsibility and accountability are to be discussed. The concepts are to be related with the role of a student nurse and being a future registered nurse. Further, the importance of leadership in nursing profession is to be discussed as the main leadership styles used in nursing along with its impact on the profession is to be explained. My personal leadership style as a student nurse is also to be discussed. Moreover, my personal weakness and strength in the profession are to be discussed and opportunity to develop them are to be explained. An action plan is to be developed to resolve the identified weakness which is to be presented in SMART format.

Part 1

The self-awareness in nursing allows the nurses to understand and identify their temperaments, emotions and potentials which ultimately assist them to understand the strength and limitation of the patients they are caring. This helps the nurses to support the patients in overcoming their limitation and make the patients strong to lead a healthy life (Rasheed et al., 2019). The self-awareness in nursing also makes the nurses determining personal strength and weakness in delivering care which ultimately assists them in developing strategies to overcome the weakness so that their key role of developing successful therapeutic relationships with the patients and others in the care environment is accomplished (Younas et al., 2020). The NMC Code of practice mentions that self-awareness in nursing is important for the student nurses and as a future qualified nurse which they are to maintain all times to keep check on their behaviour (NMC, 2018).

In adult nursing, self-awareness is important as it makes nurses remain aware to perform positive behaviour and avoid showing neglected attitude towards the patients which is of vital importance in care. This is evident as self-awareness leads the nurses know what they are speaking and how it may affect the perception of the adult patients who are already depressed and feel undignified due to being burden of care (Demir and Ercan, 2019). The self-awareness among the student nurse and future qualified nurse is important as it helps them to follow the NMC Code of Practice principle of delivering dignified and safe care to the service users (NMC, 2018). This is because self-awareness leads the nurses to personally understand which actions of them in the care are causing safety risk towards the patient as well as their attitude which is showing undignified expression towards the adults that are to be resolved to ensure dignified and safe care to the patients (Croston and Jack, 2016). Apart from self-awareness, self-leadership is also equally important for nurses to deliver enhance care.

In nursing, the self-leadership is referred to set of rational approaches that are utilised by the nurses in self-discovery, motivation and personal influence to develop desired behaviours for maximising their abilities to deliver enhanced quality care as per satisfaction of the patients. It also creates self-motivation and empowerment for the nurse to utilise personal skill in directing self to achieve optimum result and performance in care delivery (Kim and Sim, 2020). The self-leadership in nursing leads the nurse to strive towards regulating their behaviour and cognition in such a way so that their work and life become more related and aligned with their personal needs, goals, and interest. It benefits the nurses to become valuable and develop meaningful attitude as well as happiness in executing their duty of delivering care (Kim and Sim, 2020). This is important as without valued feeling along with happiness the nurses would be bored with their long work schedule that in turn would lead them to develop error in care or deliver less quality support to the patients out of frustrated feeling at work (Dong and Choi, 2016).

The self-leadership is important as it leads the student nurses in adult care autonomously determine the standards and objectives to be achieved, strategies in care delivery to be taken and methodology to be followed to provide care. It makes the student nurses and while being future qualified nurse to show less dependency on others to access care delivery ideas and be in better phase to control complex situation to deliver care (Liu et al., 2020). The self-leadership is also important in nursing as it promote developing constructive thought pattern strategies in student nurses. It leads them to improve their habitual thinking and focus more on positive aspect of a care activity compared to negative thoughts that lead the student nurse to construct positive and helpful attitude toward delivering care (Je and Bang, 2018). Thus, presence of self-leadership in student nurses helps them to overcome their fear and negative attitude of delivering care and make them have positive intellect and confidence to deliver seamless care.

In nursing, apart from self-awareness and self-leadership among nurses, it is essential they have presence of enhanced professional behaviour along with zeal to show enhanced professional responsibility and accountability. This is because professional behaviour in nurses reflect their act of delivering quality patient care while honouring the value of advocacy, respect and responsibility (Goldsby et al., 2020). According to NMC Code of Practise, the nurses are to show professionalism so that they can display effective personal commitment in delivering care as per standards and with integrity to develop trust from the patients (NMC, 2018). Thus, professional behaviour of the student nurse and being future nurse is required as it would help them to follow the care principles set by the NMC Code of Practise which is illegal to be violated by the nurses. In contrast, the lack of professional behaviour of the nurses leads them to develop irrelevant conflict with colleagues, show disrespect towards patient and others and avoid creating trust among others which hinder collaborative working in delivering care (NMC, 2018). Therefore, professional behaviour of the nurses is vital in delivering seamless care with enhanced collaboration between team members and other nurse colleagues.

The professional responsibility and accountability are referred to the role and duties to be performed by the nurses as must to be in the profession and execute their work activities. According to Caufield (2005), the four pillars of accountability to be followed by nurses are professional, ethical, legal and employment (Griffith and Board, 2018). The professional accountability of the nurses indicates they have duty in taking right decision by analysing facts regarding the consequence and need of the mentioned care intervention asked to be delivered rather than following order (Rubio-Navarro et al., 2019). This is because the nurses are blamed for delivering hindered care as they are expected to have professional efficiency in determining which care is effective and raise voice to avoid wrong care even if it is directed to be provided. It is evident as the nurses according to the NMC Code of Practice are responsible in ensuring safe and quality care delivery to patients (NMC, 2018).

The legal and ethical accountability of the nurses is that they have duty in delivering care by following legislation and policies along with abide by moral values (Rubio-Navarro et al., 2019). This is because violation of ethical and legal responsibility leads the patient to suffer and make the nurses responsible in facing lawsuit and negative feedback out of being unable to delivery enhanced moral care to individual in protecting and improving their health (Singh and Mathuray, 2018). The employment accountability for the nurses means they have duty to meet the role and action asked to be played in the work contract by the employer. This because failure to meet them would indicate the nurses are non-cooperative and professional inefficient to deliver care which would cause the employer to remove the nurse from their job (Mumba, 2018). The key responsibilities present for the nurses to follow in common are delivering appropriate care to the patient, administer medication in rightful way, check for the vital health signs of the patient, develop patient care plan and health reports and communicate with the patient, physicians and others (Madadzadeh et al., 2018).

The role of the student nurse in protecting the public within the nursing practise is to perform risk assessment to identify the potential risk which could cause safety issues for them. This is because during risk assessment the nurses would be able to determine which aspect and resources in the care are posing as harm for the patients that are to be resolved so that they remain safe from any unnecessary accidents and health issues (Kelly et al., 2017). Moreover, the student nurses to protect public within nursing practice are to take immediate action in reporting any abusive action and implement strategies to overcome the further development of abuse in keeping the patient safe in care (Eriksson et al., 2018). The role of the student nurse in protecting public in care relates with their professional accountability and responsibility in adult nursing as in the domain of nursing they do have the duty to keep the patient safe from harm and abuse as well as have responsibility of delivering harmless care to the adults. This is because the adults due to deteriorated health condition are unable to protect themselves which leads others to take advantage of the situation to abuse them and create safety issues for them (Kelly et al., 2017).

Part 2

In my role as a student nurse, I understood that self-awareness is important for me because it leads me to develop competence in focussing on my actions and feelings. This helps me to determine which of them are rightful and which are required to be changed so that I can deliver effective care. Moreover, self-awareness is important for me as it helped me to identify personal strength and weakness in delivering adult care. This assisted me to understand which skills are present in limited amount within me that are to be improved so that I am able to deliver effective care to the adults. The review of the self-awareness question answered by me informs that I have strength of enhanced personal vision, personal beliefs and life values. The personal vision regarding inner self help the nurses in creating an effective inner image of the care to be delivered which inspires the feeling of the nurse to be successful in actually delivering the care (van Vliet et al., 2018). Thus, my presence of personal awareness regarding inner self helped me as the nurse to be confident in delivering care.

The awareness regarding personal beliefs (positive and negative) helps the nurse to identify the range of their capability in accomplishing the care delivery and nature of alteration in thinking to be made to deliver professional and ethical care support to the patient (Cadorin et al., 2020). I have strength of being aware regarding personal beliefs which helped me to understand my capability of executing certain care and changes to be made in my perception to deliver certain complex care. Moreover, my awareness of life values as strength would help me as a future nurse to specially use them in guiding my decision to deliver care. However, my weakness in self-awareness includes lack of knowledge of my inner conflicts. The inner conflicts are mainly struggling personal beliefs that occurs within the mind of an individual which makes them be unable to reach their determined goals (Lamb et al., 2019). Thus, this weakness means that as a student nurse in the adult settings I may be unable to reach certain care goals and could not understand what is avoided me from executing it. The awareness regarding self-sabotage attitude is essential to understand which perceptions are the worst enemy within the person that creates barrier for them to reach their goal (Goodwin and Richards, 2017). This weakness means as a future nurse I would be my worst enemy as I may sometimes intend to execute something without my knowledge that would sabotage my care delivery to the patient and create chaos.

The importance of strong leadership in nursing is that it helps to improve patient outcomes along with ensure staff retention, reduction in medical errors, quality delivery of care and management of positive working environment (Boamah, 2018). This is evident as effective leadership in nursing by the nurse leaders leads to create better vision of care, resolve raised problem and conflicts of the nurses, promote trust and collaboration between team members and others which are required for delivering seamless quality care to the patients (Boamah, 2018). The leadership in nursing promote employee retention as a strong leader have the skill to understand the aspects in work to be created for favourable working environment of the employees and way value is to be created for them so that the employees which are the nursing staff and others stay in the organisation (Furunes et al., 2018). The three main leadership style used in nursing are Autocratic, Democratic and Laissez-Faire (Coft, 2018).

In Autocratic leadership, the leaders have sole control overall decisions and make choices on their own with rarely accessing any form of judgement or advice from followers (Al Amiri et al., 2019). In nursing, the autocratic leadership effect the employees who are the nurse and others develop dislike of the leaders as they are not allowed to contribute in making ideas and taking decisions. This leads to create deficiency of creative solutions for problems which create barriers at work for the nurses and other nursing staff (Magbity et al., 2020). In Laissez-Faire leadership, the leaders are involved to make few decisions and most of the choices along with ideas to work are made by the staffs (Albagawi, 2019). The impact of Laissez-Faire leadership in nursing is that it creates collaborating working environment and situation where the followers remain directly in contact with the leader and are free to provide their opinion as well as make decision to be followed in delivering care (Albagawi, 2019). However, the limitation is that it is time taking and is useful while supervising teams that include highly skilled individuals (Cope and Murray, 2017).

In democratic leadership, the leaders take an active role in making decision by involving other highly killed staff. This is because they wish to involve ideas from all level to reach a decision that results in effective desired outcome in the most effective way (Alharbi, 2017). The key different between democratic and Laissez-Faire leadership is that in the later the leaders are less involved while in the first the leader are intricately involved in making decision with the involvement of staffs (Barry et al., 2016). The impact of democratic leadership is that it creates high productivity among employees, reduce responsibility of the leader to keep control in following rule and procedure, assist in developing competent workers who show effective willingness to deliver their best and develop effective support from the subordinates (Alharbi, 2017). I follow democratic leadership style as a leader as it helps me to reach goals through collaborative and enthusiastic participation of the subordinates.

As a student nurse, I am able to show effective competence towards performing self-leadership in future. This is evident as I am calm and confident to determine which aspect within me are to be focused and changed along with the way they are to be changed to delivery successful care. For instance, in delivering care to a dementia patient, the individual was expressing anger without any reason. In this condition, I leaded my person instinct to remain by ignoring the attitude of the patients and focus on using compassionate words so that the patient can be clamed to show compliance in receiving care. Further, my capacity regarding self-leadership is that I know what I need to learn and way to achieve it. For instance, I known I have poor problem-solving skill due to which I am able to resolve conflicts in care on my own. In this context, I understood that I need to focus on learning problem-solving skills by exploring existing complex case histories of patients to develop ideas and gradual skills to resolve raised problem on own.

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The areas of opportunity I have to improve my self-awareness and self-leadership skill is that I have effective training program available in the working environment to assist me to develop better personal awareness and leadership. Moreover, I have the opportunity to use reflective model in developing better self-awareness and self-leadership as it would highlight my strength and weakness present to be managed. In my action plan, my initial goal is to improve my assertive attitude. This is because assertive thinking leads an individual to be strong and forceful as well as goal-oriented to determine the further actions needed by the person to develop greater self-awareness and determine the skill needed for self-leadership. The second goal is to improve my communication skill for developing better self-awareness and self-leadership. This is because enhanced communication with myself and others would help me to get feedback from others regarding my performance, knowledge and skills in the nursing care. It helps me become better aware of my skills to be developed as well as access ideas from others regarding self-leadership ways to be implemented by me to achieve better performance at work.


The discussion informs that self-awareness by the nurses is important to improve their way of working and self-leadership is essential for them to get self-direction regarding the way personal role and responsibilities are to be fulfilled with quality at work. The professional role of nurse in adult nursing include caring for the adults, assuring their safety, avoiding healthcare risks and others. The accountability of the nurses in care include legal, ethical, employment and professional. As a student nurse, it is found that I have average self-awareness which is evident as I have the strength of understanding enhanced personal vision, personal beliefs and life values but ha limitation to understand reason of self-sabotage attitude and inner conflict. It is also identified that I am a democratic leader which is evident as I wish to take care decision with involvement of ideas from other peers and subordinates. The recommendation based on the theory and reflection is that I require to be more proactive and think out of the box to determine what further skill and knowledge required to be included in me to improve my self-awareness and self-leadership. Moreover, it is also recommended that I need to judge the strength and weakness of my skill of being a democratic leader at the work.


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Appendix 1:

To improve my assertive attitude

To improve my assertive attitude

To improve my communication skill

To improve my communication skill
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