Reflective Leadership: Integrating Quality and Safety Competencies to Fulfill Joy and Meaning in Work
Sherwood, Gwen D.
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Session presented on Saturday, September 27, 2014: Purpose: Nurses have a leadership opportunity to improve quality and safety. Leadership across all areas of nursing is essential to create safety culture that can improve outcomes. A safety culture is based on reflective, appreciative, and effective leadership that integrates the six quality and safety competencies for all nurses to improve safety outcomes: patient centered care, evidence based practice, quality improvement, teamwork and collaboration, safety and informatics. Nurses often experience disonance between their own values and organizational values, between ideal practice and constant breakdowns in process that lead to poor outcomes, and between their own vision of good work and challenges in the work environment. The purpose of the session is to help advance reflective leadership that can help make sense of practice, integrate qualty and safety competencies, and inspire and empower good work for a health work environment. Methods: The interactive session is an unfolding case exemplar with guided audience reflection and participation to illustrate and analyze reflective leadership that integrates quality and safety competencies; these meld together to create the dynamics of a culture of safety, crosses disciplinary boundaries, and improves the work environment. Leadership skills and actions to initiate improvements to the system, to speak up about process breakdowns, to communicate across disciplines, empower nurses to lead the change we seek. A reflective practice in a leadership engagement model constantly monitors self-awareness, consideration of others, and environmental scanning to reconsider actions and attitudes to re-shape future responses. Results: Nurses are uniquely positioned as primary change agents to mitigate the staggering evidence of breakdowns in care and health care systems. Leadership is a key to change; leadership commitment to creating a climate that recognizes and promotes safety and quality contributes to worker satisfaction. Satisfaction impacts retention and retention is part of a stable, healthy work place. Conclusion: Understanding how to manage the work environment is a key aspect of improving quality and safety outcomes. Nurses experience joy and meaning from good work that promotes a healthy work environment. Developing reflective leadership that learns from experience, integrates new knowledge and science, and appreciates good work leads to a work place where all thrive.