Leadership Development Series: Advanced Leadership in Action, Reaction Paper Example

Cross Post1: Improving Care Quality

Improving the quality of care in a coronary syndrome unit is a challenging task. In the mentioned post, the leaders of the unit used the experience of surgeons in order to increase the unit’s capabilities and through it the quality of care. The emotional intelligence and advanced leadership skills integration in the decision-making and project management process benefited most of the stakeholders affected by the changes. The author built the project on their strategic thinking and execution leadership strengths identified by the Clifton StrengthsFinder 2.0. The project involved new training for staff, increasing their strengths and adding more skills to their existing ones.

According to Contino (2004), positive and constructive relationship between nursing teams and physicians is extremely important in health care management. As the management of the project involved communication  with other departments, it is evident that emotional intelligence scores influenced the communication between departments and managers. Human resources management also must have been involved in the decision making process, as learning, training and responsibility revisions were involved in the goals and strategy. Higher patient census on the medical floor might have had an implication, and change management was required to make the transfer successful. Contino (2004) mentions that communication is the main tool of leaders to positively influence the outcome of the project and the attitude of the staff. It also provides a clear outline of the management’s goals and expectations and provides guidelines. Higher emotional intelligence scores would have enabled the author of the case study to communicate and manage change and the vision more effectively.

Cross Post 2: Staff Shortage

The implications of staff shortage, increased workload and high expectations were detailed in the post, as well as their effects on stakeholders. Interestingly, the author showed a high level of empathy with staff and patients, also highlighting the fact that increased pressure was inevitably leading to a greater error rate. The author’s main strength determined by the StrengthFinder assessment was empathy, however, in order to become a competent and successful leader she had to implement strategic thinking into implementing change, manage her emotions and build a complete strategy to overcome operational difficulties.

Nursing shortage in the United States indeed has been highlighted by several

authors. Caron (2004) found evidence for the adverse patient outcomes of the staff shortage. Fatigued and exhausted nurses are not able to fully concentrate on the challenging tasks ahead, and this puts pressure on them, their colleagues, managers and patients alike. The author also mentions that in health care environment, especially in hospitals, most of the nursing errors can remain unreported. This means that patients are disadvantaged, unless there is a complete and well-developed strategy to avoid staff shortage, support nurses in achieving a healthy work-life balance. Emotional intelligence and interpersonal communication skills are just as essential as strategic thinking in this case. Controlling, managing and regulating overtime in the nursing unit needs the involvement of the human resources department, finance, operations management and other units. Without being able to successfully communicate the required changes, negotiate with staff, allocating resources and managing finances, the project would not have succeeded. Putting the emotions aside and thinking on an organizational level could also determine the several implications of the nursing staff shortage within the department; such as reputation, patient outcomes and financial inferences.


Contino, D.  (2004) Leadership Competencies: Knowledge, Skills, and Aptitudes Nurses Need to Lead Organizations Effectively Critical Care Nurse. 2004;24: 52-64

Caron. V. (2004) The Nursing Shortage In The United States: What Can Be Done To Solve The Crisis? Research Paper. University of Rhode Island. 2004