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The field of health care continues developing and improving in a variety of ways, and it is extremely important for a nurse to be properly trained and aware of the required skills. A career in nursing is highly rewarded because of the necessity to influence and coordinate patients, their families, and other medical workers in a team (Al-Dossary, 2017).
As well as any potential leader, a nurse has to engage in developing political capital with the help of which status can be shaped, power may be gained, and reputation is improved (Inouye, Leners, & Miyamoto, 2019). There are many forms to be applied to transform strengths and skills into political capital, including intellectual, social, or political. In other words, the promotion of capital for a registered nurse is a synonym for understanding his or her power (not control but influence) and responsibilities.
In this narrative paper, attention will be paid to such strengths as practice and leadership, relationship development and collaboration, effective communication, and persistence and persuasion. The examples of how these skills contribute to the creation of successful political capital among registered nurses will be given.
Practice and Leadership
To be a nurse means to develop professional skills regularly, but, at some point, a person understands that some qualities have already been possessed. As a registered nurse, I realize that one of my essential leadership goals is to become a role model for other nursing staff and provide them with support (Rafferty, 2018). I believe that I am a good mentor for my colleagues because I study the environment, promote continuous learning, and motivate my team.
Another example is based on my critical thinking and the ability to evaluate available factors and make a correct decision. It is important for a nurse to be autonomous, but never neglect the worth of teamwork. That is why my leadership strength includes the elements of integrity, respect, and safety. Finally, I cannot ignore the fact that nobody is perfect, and people make mistakes, even being professionals in the chosen fields. Therefore, as a leader in registered nursing, I strive for excellence all the time. I learn the mistakes of other people and mine and find it normal to ask questions or some help.
All these skills may be properly translated to my political and intellectual capital. To succeed as a leader, I should prepare myself to be heard and influence the working process (Inouye et al., 2019). My knowledge and observations contribute to policy-making and the improvement of care quality. My influence on the people I work with is my own achievement in the field of nursing and all related political processes.
Relationship Development and Collaboration
Translation of my collaboration strength to political capital is supported by a number of skills I have already been able to recognize. As a part of a team and any registered nurse, I should know how to develop relationships at different stages of my practice. Collaboration is an integral element of care because it improves coordination, controls time-intensive processes, and identifies common goals. First, I excelled in collaboration when I tried to introduce myself and ask other people’s names.
Second, it was necessary to differentiate responsibilities and tasks, so everyone knew their roles. Then, I shared my ideas, as well as was ready to listen to others’ opinions. An open and free discussion helped to avoid unnecessary prejudice and misunderstanding in nursing practice. According to Inouye et al. (2019), grassroots play a serious role in nursing and the creation of political capital. “Power in numbers”, they say and use collaboration to find out and prove the truth (Inouye et al., 2019).
Personally, I like the idea of relationship development in the chosen environment because if nurses are interested in achieving the same goals, the better results can be achieved.
My registered nursing practice was considerably improved by means of effective communication. This strength helped to understand why my political capital plays such a critical role in the chosen profession. First of all, I chose the strategy of active listening at the beginning of my practice. I listened to what other skilled and new practitioners offered and interpreted all the pieces of information. Second, I focused on non-verbal communication either with the team or patients.
Sometimes, the choice of a tone or eye contact may influence the whole working process. According to Al-Dossary (2017), effective communication is one of the central keys to empowerment and collaboration. So, I could not neglect a chance and establish trustful relationships, support, and guidance.
The third example of how this strength influenced my capital development included feedback provision. I believed that an ability to give or receive feedback improves the quality of work and clarifies what makes good and effective care. In nursing leadership and policy-making, many people do not pay attention to this element, and I wanted to eliminate the number of problems and mistakes.
Persistence and Persuasion
One of the most significant strengths a registered nurse should possess is persuasion. Many authors support one and the same idea that influence but never control determines the quality of good care and the development of political capital in nursing (Al-Dossary, 2017; Inouye et al., 2019; Rafferty, 2018).
To be a successful nurse, a person should stay persistent and demonstrate a list of necessary qualities. In my example, I try to translate several persuasion skills that are closely related to my beliefs, behaviors at work, and attitudes to people. I live in a constantly changing world, and it is my responsibility to respect the world, as well as to prove the worth of my existence. I continue making intentional efforts to influence people; for example, I like to persuade them, using statistics and peer-reviewed evidence.
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Another example of how persuasion and persistence make me better is self-motivation. I talk to myself and recognize my weak and strong sides to understand what I can do at the moment. Finally, my influence on someone’s life cannot be ignored, and emotions become a tool in my work.
Many people talk to nurses and cooperate with them regularly without even thinking about a list of tasks these employees have to complete. Therefore, the promotion of political capital is a significant step with the help of build influence is built, care is improved, and trustful relationships are established.
A career in nursing never stops on being a registered nurse, but this stage shows what can and has to be achieved at the moment. I enjoy the results I have today because my leadership, cooperation, communication, and persuasion strengths and skills are unique. Still, there is always some space for enhancement, with political capital being a great way of my future success.
Al-Dossary, R. N. (2017). Leadership in nursing. In A. Alvinius (Ed.), Contemporary leadership challenges (pp. 251-264). Rijeka, Croatia: InTech.
Inouye, L., Leners, C., & Miyamoto, S. (2019). Building capital: Intellectual, social, political, and financial. In R. M. Patton, M. L. Zalon, & R. Ludwick (Eds.), Nurses making policy: From bedside to boardroom (2nd ed.) (pp. 195-224). New York, NY: Springer.
Rafferty, A. M. (2018). Nurses as change agents for a better future in health care: The politics of drift and dilution. Health Economics, Policy and Law, 13(3-4), 475-491.