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Nursing Leadership Interview

Nursing Leadership Interview

Maria Dawson and I met through a mutual friend. Maria came across as an ideal mentor when we started our conversation. Her resilience impressed me, which stood out as she shared some of her struggles. These struggles motivated her and led to the attainment of excellent leadership skills. We discussed healthcare matters and leadership as well. When the opportunity to write about a leader surfaced, I knew Maria was the best candidate. I have had numerous opportunities to observe Maria Dawson in her work environment. Until then, I was largely unfamiliar with the leadership style that Maria chose to utilize. Accordingly, Maria offered mentorship on the best way to apply different leadership in varying situations in the healthcare sector. The day she started at 0730 hours with a team huddle before the doors opened. I quickly noticed how vital her role was in her organization and how everyone looked up to her for guidance. Maria retained calmness and composure throughout the day and cared for vendors, patients, and staff problems (people calling out) without losing her temper. Maria emphasized the importance of handling issues as they arise. The tools that Maria provided would be applicable in different parts.

Response to the Interview Questions

What is your philosophy?

My philosophy is to treat everyone with kindness.

How long have you been a manager?

I have been a manager for 33 years, five years in this current practice.

How long have you worked in the dental field?

I have worked in the dental field for 37 years and spent four years as a dental assistant.

How large is your staff?

There are 26 staff members, including;

  • 12 dental assistants
  • Five doctors
  • Seven administrations
  • One sterilization technician
  • One marketing person

What are the ages of the patients you service?

I serve patients between 0 and 20 years old (dental and orthodontic services).

Leadership Innovation

Best innovation

  • I created the standard operation procedures (SOPs). These SOPs include explaining benefits, dental claims, and electronic medical records. Accordingly, these aspects apply to the current office.
  • I also initiated the Patient care (WOW factor). The WOW factor includes painting little girls’ nails and giving kids tattoos to make them feel at ease in the dental chair as they receive services.

Innovative Approach To Solve An Issue

When I took over the office, it was disorganized and had no system. For instance, staff members parked in the front of the building where patients should be parking; I ensured that this aspect changed to improve the customers’ experience. The entire client experience is dependent on multiple elements that sometimes seem minute. This required a proactive approach to ensure clients did not complain about the lack of parking space (Purcărea, Ratiu, & Purcărea, 2008). I was sure the lack of parking space could negatively influence the clients’ experience. Therefore, I spoke to staff members and discussed the issue to ensure they understood the concept. All patients parked in front of the building while employees parked on the rear side to remedy this.

To inspire innovation or creativity in others, I created a morning hurdle at 7.30 am for 10 to 15 minutes. This gathering allows employees to talk about the patient load. Sometimes, when the staff members get tired due to the patient load, I engage them in a quick teambuilding activity to improve their morale and reward their efforts. As a result, this helps inspire the staff and motivate them for the day. The need for constant communication inspired the morning hurdle. Consistent and meaningful communication provides an opportunity to improve employees’ morale. Communication allows employees to discuss departmental issues, leading to engagement. Similarly, teambuilding activities give employees a mental break, ensuring they are refreshed (Drake, 2021).

Emotional Competence

Motivating Factors

I genuinely do enjoy what I do. This is a significant aspect of the job because it affects the quality of results. I gain essential fulfillment by bringing the highest quality dental care to my community, especially to children.

Strengths and Weaknesses?

  • Strengths- I am dependable. I show up to work daily motivated and follow through with my staff and patients’ needs.
  • Weakness- perfectionist- because I am constantly criticizing myself, and the standards I hold for myself are impossible to reach.

Dealing with Disagreements

When a staff member disagrees with my decision, the best approach is to coach and help them do the job. I try to do it with them and still listen to their opinion. I also explain the reasons for the decision to ensure they understand. Disagreements are part of work. Their existence in my work environment illuminates the differences in opinions and thought patterns. I try to include staff members in shared decision-making, especially when there is time. When time is limited, seeking views from all staff members is impossible. However, I still recognize the importance of shared decision-making to engage staff members in the facility’s activities.

Crisis Management

When facing a crisis, I try to be objective instead of emotional. Therefore, I do not deal with the issue immediately because the emotions may be high. I wait a day for my mind to be cleared and to get all the facts. When dealing with an unhappy staff member, I try to be empathetic by listening to them and trying to come to a happy medium with them. Disgruntled employees may be incapable of offering the recommended quality of services (Kluger & Itzchakov, 2022). It is necessary to establish the main issues to ensure that the staff members’ issues are resolved. The problems are resolved, especially if they are related to work. Listening or sending the employee to the counselor is the alternative action if they are personal. Other times, I provide staff members with time off to settle personal issues, which avoids negative influence on their productivity and quality of work.


Spirituality is not essential in my practice. I think so because I treat clients whose religious beliefs I do not know. My main objective is to ensure they receive quality care as I observe the principles of care. I have never encountered a staff member whose religious view affects their ability to perform.

Change and Conflict

The process of introducing new policies begins with detailed discussions. The procedure is written once all the stakeholders know the policy’s content, need/necessity, benefits, and implementation process. Before documenting the system, a window of amendments is provided for employees who would like to suggest new aspects that may be lacking. Such involvement and engagement ensure staff members feel valued and reduce resistance, especially when these policies will likely bring about changes (Dawson & Andriopoulos, 2017).

Conflict during policy implementation is a common occurrence in organizations. It may be an aspect of poor change management. However, if the staff member does not buy into the new policy change, I must let them go. Fortunately for me, I do not have any issues and am grateful to have the staff I have. Communication is essential to conflict resolution (Awan & Saeed, 2015). I seek to understand the nature of their conflict. If the conflict is not related to work, I encourage them to communicate with each other and talk about the issue. Sometimes, I mediate and stay in the room while they discuss the issue. Whenever I must intervene, I do, but I try not to. When acting as a mediator, I provide a non-partisan opinion on the issues causing the conflict.

Employees who disagree with my leadership style are difficult to retain. I have had a doctor who was extremely sensitive to how I run the practice, so I emailed her instead of talking with her. This approach helped me to provide the necessary or critical information.

Leading Teams

Leaders should possess the ability to remain calm during a crisis. Consistency is also essential for leaders because they set an example for their followers. Teambuilding exercises are crucial. I try to implement these exercises once a month. It is not mandatory but strongly suggested. I also ask the employees what activities they would like to do. If it is during the workday, they are paid to have fun. During working days, they are all expected to participate in the activities.

Teamwork is a critical aspect of organizational performance. Whenever I notice that employees are not working in teams, I join in to help and encourage them to work together. Example: One staff member was slow, and the other employee was getting annoyed. I wore my lab coat and helped her move faster by assisting her with the task.

Coaching and Mentoring

Coaching and mentoring are essential because it gives me a better idea of what areas to focus on to help strengthen the individual staff members.

I have encountered someone who needs mentoring and is not receptive to my approach or help. For example, my younger staff members do not realize how vital health insurance is. I had to explain the importance of health insurance to them and have other staff members explain the importance of health insurance.

Financial Responsibility

I pay for all the practice bills. I must stay consistent and manage my time to get this done. It can be stressful at times because other issues can take precedence, and I find myself working at home.

If we achieve the monthly goal or the budget, I talk to the staff about it. I try to do this to motivate them to do better and want to reach the goal. We discuss some of the issues that may have led to the failure to achieve the goal. Employees brainstorm on strategies that can be used to improve the organization’s performance. This interaction is usually involving and requires all employees to provide their opinions. I find the discussion essential for informing employees about their performance. When the improvement strategies come from the staff members, there is a greater likelihood of commitment than when I provide the solutions. Thus, I tend to utilize this approach most of the time.


Awan, A. G., & Saeed, S. (2015). Conflict Management and Organizational Performance: A Case. Research Journal of Finance and Accounting, 6(11), 88-102.

Dawson, P., & Andriopoulos, C. (2017). Managing Change, Creativity & Innovation. Sage.

Drake, K. (2021). The moral of morale. Nursing Management, 52(3), 56. doi:10.1097/01.NUMA.0000733652.27670.8a

Kluger, A. N., & Itzchakov, G. (2022). The Power of Listening at Work. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 9(1). doi:10.1146/annurev-orgpsych-012420-091013

Purcărea, L. V., Ratiu, M., & Purcărea, T. (2008). Offering memorable patient experiences through a creative, dynamic marketing strategy. Journal of Medicine and Life, 1(2), 198-205.


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For this assignment, you will choose a nursing leader to interview. It will require planning, so please give yourself adequate time and don’t wait until the last minute to reach out to your prospective interviewee, as schedules change and life happens for you and the leader you choose to work with. The person that you choose should be a leader at the manager level or higher.

Nursing Leadership Interview

Nursing Leadership Interview

Setting Up the Interview:

Choose a leader from our profession whom you would like to interview. This can be the leadership in your unit/department, from another unit or service line, or another organization altogether.

Preparing for and Conducting the Interview

Please ensure your communications are professional when contacting your identified leader to request help with this assignment. Prepare a list of questions that you would like for the interview. Some will naturally be answered throughout the discussion, but some must be asked directly or clarified. It is a courtesy to offer the person you will interview a copy of the questions beforehand. Your questions for your interviewer should focus on leadership qualities that either you or your leader identify.

Interview Questions should provide insight on these eight topics:

  1. Leadership Innovation
  2. Emotional Competence
  3. Crisis Management
  4. Spirituality
  5. Change and Conflict
  6. Leading Teams
  7. Coaching and Mentoring
  8. Financial Responsibility

Other topics brought up by the leader may also be good to include in your write-up. For example, change and conflict are two distinct concepts. Consider what you will do if your leader answers your question negatively or declines to answer it (which is their right). Think about engaging the leader differently and not letting the topic drop. One strategy is “tell me about a time when… (you dealt with a difficult change)”.


  • Introduce the leader and why you chose the”. Include a URL to a site where they can be seen or discussed. This can be an organization’s staff page, a news story, etc.
  • The paper should highlight the essence of your leader’s statements, and you should use the scholarly leaders (both from the text and other appropriate academic literature) to underscore or refute your leader’s comments for each section of the paper.
  • Make sure the leader’s eight topics listed above are addressed. Provide specific examples and references in the scholarly literature showing how this particular leader demonstrates/incorporates/refutes each concept.

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