Michelle Lowell: A Nursing Case Study

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Society requires leadership, as leaders supply guidance to others, sanctioning individuals to strive for his or her greatest potential. In the health care environment, a nurse serves as a leader not only for his or her patient, but also for colleagues. As the National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses declared, "Strong nursing leadership at all levels of the organization, but especially at the unit level where most frontline staff work and patient care is delivered, is required to establish healthy work environments" (Satusky, 2012, p. 1). A nursing leader that greatly impacted my decision to enter the nursing profession stood as my aunt - Michelle Lowell. Lowell currently works at Park Nicollet Health Services as a DNP, with a focus in Nephrology. …show more content…
Of the skills performed on a daily basis, the four most imperative skills for her nursing practice involve: decision-making, critical thinking, communication, and leadership. As discussed by the Baltic Journal of Management, "Management of ethical dilemmas requires the head nurse to respect the dignity of each individual, endeavoring to generate the greatest benefit for the patients, employees, stakeholders, health care institution and nursing profession" (Zydziunaite, Lepaite, Åstedt-Kurki, & Suominen, 2015, p. 168). Decision-making entails constructing a well-educated selection, through the use of resources and past experiences to narrow down the possible options. Nursing leaders do not blindly construct a decision, but rather they take every individual 's wellbeing into consideration. When constructing a critical decision, a nurse leader heavily relies on critical thinking. In fact, "Critical thinking can have a powerful influence on the decision making and problem solving that nurse managers are faced with on a daily basis. The skills that typify critical thinking include analysis, evaluation, inference, and deductive and inductive reasoning" (Zori & Morrison, 2009, p. 78). Clinical thinking reflects a deep interpretation of the nursing process, seeking to enhance patient safety and the quality of care. The critical thinking act merges an individual 's skill and his or her inherent qualities. Although critical thinking stands as an independent, internal act, a nurse leader must use his or her communication skills to voice concerns and thoughts with others. According to the International Journal of Healthcare Improvement, "Effective leaders flatten the hierarchy, create familiarity and make it feel safe to speak up and participate" (Leonard, Graham, & Bonacum, 2004, p. i86). Communication entails more than merely

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