Political competence in nursing

Define “political competence” and discuss at least one example of how a nurse leader has or could demonstrate political competence at the local, state or national level. The example may be from an organizational perspective or a political challenge.

The purpose of this paper is to describe my experience as an RN and NNP in nursing administration. I have been employed by two different hospitals for over 20 years. In both places I was responsible for managing nurses who were also leaders within their units. My experiences are based on my own personal observations and those of others that worked with me. This paper will focus on leadership skills needed in today’s healthcare environment. It will discuss issues related to politics, power, influence, negotiation and conflict resolution. Finally it will address ways in which these skills can be used to improve patient care outcomes.

Discussion/Conclusions: Nursing administrators must understand how they fit into the larger picture of health care delivery. They need to know what role they play in the organization and how they interact with other members of the team. Administrators should develop strategies for improving communication between staff levels so that all parties involved feel valued. They must learn about the various roles available to them and choose one that best fits their personality and style. As part of their job description, administrators must take responsibility for making sure that policies and procedures are followed. If not, then someone else may get hurt. A good administrator knows when to ask questions and when to let things go. He or she understands the importance of listening carefully before offering advice. An effective manager needs to work well with people from diverse backgrounds. She or he must be able to listen without judgment and offer support while maintaining boundaries.

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