Being a nursing leader in the current times amounts to leading and aiding people through choices that nobody wants to make. It also means accompanying one’s clients and colleagues on a journey that could be customized, reconfigured and redesigned along the way. …
It is about understanding the context in which a specific healthcare service is delivered. It may not be exactly about having a solid vision, but still it does involve having a nascent idea as to how things ought to be. It definitely involves having the ability to connect to other people. When one analyzes these salient attributes of nursing leadership, the one name that propitiously comes to my mind is that of Florence Nightingale. Florence Nightingale not only revolutionized the nursing practices as they existed in her times, but also happened to be an instrument of change. Comparing oneself with such a leadership icon is indeed humbling. Still, on doing so I have realized that I do share some attributes with Florence Nightingale, while I need to strive hard to muster some other attributes ascribed to this great nursing leader.
Florence Nightingale as a Nursing Leader
The one attribute of Florence Nightingale was that she came into nursing with a sense of passion. She happened to be from a well to do family and could have opted for some easy life by marrying into a status family as her family wanted her to do (Donahue, 2007, p. 199). However, contrary to this, Florence decided to be a nurse at the age of twenty five. There is no denying the fact that Florence’s choice of a career was imbued with a sense of purpose, a marked sense of direction and a passion for doing something extraordinary in the career she choose. For Florence, it was not about doing something great, but rather about doing little things with great love. That is indeed true that Florence Nightingale was a luminary and it is not possible for every nurse to achieve that exalted level of vision and purpose, still, considering the present state of healthcare, one indeed pines for that level of passion and zeal in the nursing services. The other big thing about Florence was that she had a clear cut sense of how things were at her times and how they should have been. In the Crimean War, Florence, though still lacking much serious experience, was appalled by the circumstances at the hospital at Scutari (Donahue, 2007, p. 201). In fact, learning from such experience, when Florence proposed for change in the way military hospitals were run and managed, she witnessed a stiff resistance from most of the health care personnel deployed in the military hospitals (Donahue, 2007, p. 202). I intensely believe that no matter how inexperienced a nurse happens to be, still every health care professional has an innate sense of how the things should be, at least a vague idea. In that context, Florence Nightingale not only served as a leader who acted as an instrument of change, but also played a pivotal role in the management and administration of change. With little hope of help from the military establishment, Florence ...
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