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NR 504 Week 3 Discussion – Leading and Caring for Oneself

NR 504 Week 3 Discussion – Leading and Caring for Oneself

As a nurse at the bedside, we have been taught that the patient comes first, and we need to do whatever is required of us in order to provide quality care for the patient. Without self-care, the increasingly complex and demanding climate of healthcare combined with a chronic shortage of nurses can quickly lead to burnout. Dall’Ora et al. (2020) identify burnout as a series of behaviors that can negatively impact the quality of care and patient safety that happens in response to being repeatedly and excessively exposed to an emotionally challenging situation, either at home or at work. Burnout causes a myriad of problems such as lack of caring, lack of self-awareness, loss of motivation, lack of commitment, detachment from others, inability to focus or pay attention, inability to coordinate and prioritize, inability to self-reflect, inability to accept feedback; poor attendance; and a high risk for addiction. Not only does this result in poor clinical care and compromised safety for patients, but it also results in poor leadership, both for self and for others.

It is important for the nurse leader to practice self-care in order to allow the body, mind, and spirit to heal from repeated exposure to the stress and demands of the healthcare setting. Adequate self-care is required in order for the nurse to provide care for others. Self-care allows for self-awareness or the ability to know oneself and provides the groundwork for an authentic style of leadership.

Authentic leadership occurs when one has an awareness of one’s own beliefs, values, communication methods, and ways of interacting with others and how others perceive and react to the interactions. This enhances the ability to practice self-reflective processes that create an enriched ability to connect with others, commit to others, care for others, and lead others in a perceptive, aware, and compassionate manner (Brathovde, 2017). The ability to self-reflect allows for the continued development and refinement of the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) that result in positive and effective leadership relationships and behaviors. Without adequate self-care, the leader is unaware of their own values, beliefs, communication styles, and behaviors and how others perceive and react to them. There is minimal growth and development on the part of the leader who is oblivious to how their actions and decisions impact their relationships with others. A leader who is unable to cultivate meaningful relationships and does not develop any KSAs will be an ineffective leader who is unable to effect any influence.

NR 504 Week 3 Discussion – Leading and Caring for Oneself

As an MSN-prepared nurse, I hope to enter the area of education. Meaningful relationships and effective leadership skills are important for an educator to be able to influence the learner to adopt the knowledge and skills being offered. In order to be an active participant in a healthy relationship, I will need to be self-aware and emotionally intelligent so I can be cognizant of my values, beliefs, and behaviors and how they impact and influence my relationships and the people I interact with. If what I see in myself is not having the positive and influential effect I want, I need to be able to modify or change my own actions in order to be more authentic and a better servant to others. When I say servant, I don’t necessarily mean being submissive to others; I mean being able to identify their needs and, as a leader, be able to be flexible, creative, and adaptable enough to find ways to meet those needs on their level, not according to my own agenda. I believe in the area of education, this is particularly important, as there are multiple learning styles that need to be accommodated.

I will practice self-care by intentionally practicing self-awareness so I know when I’m getting overwhelmed, stressed, or tired, how these internal feelings are going to impact my thoughts, decisions, and behaviors and how this will impact my relationships. This is a very real weakness for me, as I am the type who feels they have to do it all, do it for everybody, and do it now. It’s very easy for me to get overwhelmed, and I’ve been working on delegation, setting boundaries, prioritizing, and asking for help. All of this helps me to stay calm, focused, and rational, which has a positive impact on my thoughts, behaviors, decisions, and resultant relationships. The other thing that I know is critical to my self-care is outdoor activity. I’m currently working 50-60 hours a week at work and taking online classes for my MSN, so time is a valuable commodity for me. I used to work 36hrs/week, and on my days off, I could always be found outside hiking, bike riding, kayaking, or trail walking-this was my self-care. My new schedule is eating into my outdoor time, but I refuse to completely give this up. These activities soothe my soul and heal my spirit, and it is also good physical exercise. I’ve also identified an indirect benefit to my love of outdoor activity; it is so valuable to me that it actually helps me with the other behaviors I’ve been working on, such as setting boundaries, delegation, and prioritizing. It’s easy to convince myself to delegate and set boundaries when I realize that I will have to give up my outdoor time in order to take on one more project. There are many other ways to practice self-care, such as getting enough sleep, eating nutritiously, staying hydrated, traveling, participating in hobbies, etc., but I think the key is being self-aware, as this is the trigger that guides decisions, thoughts, and behaviors.


Dall’Ora, C., Ball, J., Reinius, M., & Griffiths, P. (2020). Burnout in nursing: a theoretical review. Human Resources for Health, 18(41), 2-17.

Brathovde, A. (2017). Teaching nurses reiki energy therapy for self-care. International Journal for Human Caring, 21(1), 20-25. https://eds-b-ebscohost- a6c0-7dbe04cb2c50%40pdc-v-sessmgr02


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NR 504 Week 3 Discussion – Leading and Caring for Oneself

MSN-prepared nurses serve as leaders across a wide array of healthcare and organizational contexts, influencing individuals, teams, organizations, and communities. Recognizing this far-reaching impact of the MSN-prepared nurse as a leader in shaping healthcare and the profession, respond to the following.

Why are self-care and self-leadership important, and how do they relate to one’s competency as a leader? How is self-care related to self-leadership?

Based upon the Chamberlain Care Model, what are the implications when adequate self-care is present? What are the implications when self-care is lacking or absent?

How are self-care and self-leadership reflected in the principles of authentic leadership?

What are the implications of effective self-leadership and self-care in your future MSN role? Provide two recommendations to further cultivate self-care and self-leadership.

Include current, peer-reviewed scholarly support (outside of class resources) to validate your work.

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