Evidence for Characteristics of a Healthy Work Life Discussion 5

Evidence for Characteristics of a Healthy Work Life Discussion 5

Evidence for Characteristics of a Healthy Work Life Discussion 5

of one’s self. Balanced processing involves an open mind and an open heart. “Leaders described balanced processing as the ability to be open to feedback and diverse opinions, to analyze information objectively, and listen to those who have opposing views” (Alexander & Palan, 2018). Nurses must feel like they can talk to their leaders openly and honestly; they must feel heard and understood. Nurses look to their leaders to help them wade through the difficulties of the every day nurse life. Transparency involves honesty and commitment to nursing staff, and these characteristics drive trust between nurse and leader. The final quality, moral leadership, involves healthy ethics. Nurses look to their leaders to guide their behaviors and A healthy work environment is key to a positive work-life balance. Toxic work environments can lead to nurse burnout, negative behaviors, frequent call-offs, and dismissive attitudes towards patients. However, a positive work environment can have a wildly different impact on patient care. From the resources, I most identified with the authentic leadership model. This model expresses the following leadership characteristics: “self-awareness, relational transparency, internalized moral perspective, and balanced information processing” (Marshall & Broome, 2017). I like this model because I can identify with these characteristics, and I imagine it is the kind of leadership style that I would exude.

In a study on leadership styles and their impact on nurse’s perceptions of a positive work environment, there were several characteristics of leadership that correlated with positive nursing attitudes. Overall, the highest correlation between leadership styles and positive nursing attitudes was a relational leadership style. “The findings of this systematic review provide robust support that relational leadership versus task-focused leadership styles are linked to better nursing workforce outcomes and related organizational outcomes.” (Cummings, Tate, Lee, Wong, Paananen, Micaroni, & Chatterjee, 2018). Nurses are receptive to leaders who are genuine in nature. They want to feel that they are being led by someone who is honest and fair. Can I talk to this person and expect an honest response? Are they easy to talk to? Can I vent to this leader and feel heard and understood? These are important qualities of a relational leader.

In another study, researchers assessed the attitudes towards a healthy work environment possessed by nursing executives. The researchers spoke with seventeen nursing executives to assess their ideas of important characteristics of management to promote a healthy work environment. All participants agreed that maintaining a healthy work environment was important to their role (Alexander & Palan, 2018). The self-identified characteristics of a nurse manager that promotes a healthy work environment were: self-awareness, balanced processing, transparency, and moral leadership (Alexander & Palan, 2018). I would agree with these results. Self-awareness is a key component to leadership; a strong ability to evaluate the positive and negative characteristics of others involves the ability to evaluate the positive and negative characteristics attitudes; a leader with a strong moral compass can help guide their nurses through difficult days.

Leadership Example

I worked at an inpatient psychiatric hospital for eight years. About two years after I started, a colleague of mine (Gina) was promoted to Director of Nursing. She didn’t have any management experience but she had strong relationships with the nurses and a positive attitude. Over the years, I watched her transform and grow into a leader. She displayed a relational leadership style like the one mentioned above. She was open, honest, and communicative. She had a strong moral compass and an open mind. Many nurses felt comfortable coming to her with issues, and she was always open to feedback and communication. However, she struggled with holding nurses accountable. Because of the tight relationship she held with her nursing staff, she struggled to be fair; she wasn’t comfortable providing appropriate feedback to those who needed direction. Years later, I still work for her on a PRN basis. Many of her nurses now feel that she is unfair, because those nurses who are not performing as well as the rest are not given the appropriate corrective action and their behaviors continue. Therefore, this manager initially had a positive impact on nursing work life, but over time the environment has become more negative. Evidence for Characteristics of a Healthy Work Life Discussion 5



Alexander, C., & Palan Lopez, R. (2018). A Thematic Analysis of Self-described Authentic Leadership Behaviors Among Experienced Nurse Executives. Journal of Nursing Administration, 48(1), 38–43. https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.1097/NNA.0000000000000568

Cummings, G. G., Tate, K., Lee, S., Wong, C. A., Paananen, T., Micaroni, S. P. M., & Chatterjee, G. E. (2018). Leadership styles and outcome patterns for the nursing workforce and work environment: A systematic review. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 85, 19–60. https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2018.04.016

Marshall, E. S., & Broome, M. E. (2017). Transformational leadership in nursing: From expert clinician to influential leader. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company, LLC.


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