Leadership Application Stand



LeadershipApplication Stand

Aleader in nursing the profession should be a strong advocate forpatients, stand for their rights, and Support them in differentissues. In most cases, nurses find themselves in situations thatcompromise their ethical, personal and profession decency (Laschingeret al., 2010). In instances of high loyalty conflicts, violation ofpatients’ rights in overboard charged conflicts, a nurse leader issometimes required to exercise moral courage. This paper gives ageneral overview of moral boldness, barriers to moral courage,defines important terms in leadership, reveals the organizationalstrategies that support moral courage and peer support that resultsin moral courage.

Definingkey terms

Ethicsisdefined as the code into which a given society or a group of peopleadheres to. For example, in a hospital set up, the doctor knows thatpatient’s history should not be shared with anyone else unlessthere is need or the law requires the information to be divulged.Moralsdescribe what is right or wrong in deeper level. It is the principleunder which judgment of what is right or wrong is based on. Ethicsand morals are closely related but they have different meanings.Morals are stern, more abstract, and subjective and cannot changeeasily. On the other hand, ethics are principles, which are morepractical and conceived to promote fairness in social institutions(Murray, 2012). Legalleadershipconsists of different forms, which includes having differentobjectives, playing different roles, and having the audience ofdifferent followers. It requires ethics and morals to demonstrateeffective leadership.

Casescenario: Dilemma in Leadership.

Thefollowingscenario is an illustration of a nurse leader meeting a grosschallenge when her advocacy for patient’s right meets resistanceand her moral courage is disputed. The nurse leader demonstrates someeffective management strategies to help solve this problem.

Margateis the nurse leader in one of the wards in a university medicalcenter. She is busy executing her leadership duties when thephysician in charge of Mr. Dickson, who is suffering from mildstroke, comes in. He complains to Margate that they have a rough timewith a staff nurse called Susan and they simply cannot get along. Hesays that Susan keeps on questioning everything that the physiciandoes to Mr. Dickson and he is not happy about it. On the other hand,a new nurse is interacting with Susan, and she happens to tell thenew nurse about the need of increasing the dosages of Mr. Dickson’sdrugs. However, she has no courage to tell the physician because shehad faced retaliations before in similar cases. The new nurse knowsabout moral courage since it was part of her studies at the medicaluniversity. She finds it disheartening why Susan would fail to raisesuch crucial information due to fear of negative consequences. Thenew nurse takes a bold step and tells Margate that Susan needs help.Margate enters in Mr. Dickson’s room and does a quick assessment inthe presence of the new nurse and Susan. She also discovers that itis necessary to have dosage increment. She talks to Susan on theimportance of speaking out her mind in favor of the patient. Margateopts to use the technique ofSituation-Background-Assessment-Recommendation to present thesituation. Margate helps Susan on how to approach team members onmatters concerning the welfare of the patient and she suggests thatshe should use the same technique to the physician. Susan admits thatshe has been having problems in stepping forward to present suchissues but on applying the Situation-Background-Assessment-Recommendation, it worked so well. She was ableto present the case to the physician in a professional way andwithout feeling threatened.

Barriersto Moral Courage

Notall situation turns out positive like Margate’s case. Most leaders’face obstacles in their trial to advocate for patients’ rights andsome nurses may demonstrate circumvent behaviors in moral courage.Experts have identified some of the major barriers that hinder theleaders to demonstrate courageous leadership behavior (Laschinger etal., 2010). They include organization structures, lack of concernfrom colleagues who does not have the moral courage to present cases,ignorance, and tendency to redefine unethical occurrences asacceptable.

DemonstratingMoral Courage

Courage,obligation to honor, danger management, and expression are the majorsteps in demonstrating moral courage. Courageous leaders have theability to use the objective and more effective strategies to resolvewhether a situation calls for further exploration. When caught in amoral dilemma, a leader should be able to take a time out todetermine which ethical issues and moral principles are at stake ofcompromise. Danger management involves the need to manage the fear ofbecoming morally courageous. Cognitive approaches are necessary tocontrol emotions and risk aversion management (Hodkinson, 2012). Inthis step, careful actions are taken and consequences for the actionsare considered. In the scenario case, Susan was able to be assertive,knew her obligation, and demonstrated courageous moral behavior,which enabled her to move past her fears.


Hodkinson,K.2012. How should a nurse approach truth-telling? A virtue ethicsperspective. NursPhilos.9(4).

Laschinger,H.K., Finegan, J., Wilk, P. 2010.Contextmatters: the impact of unit leadership and empowerment on nurses’organizational commitment. JNurs Adm,39(5) 228-235.

Murray,J.S. May 2012. The Paul Revere Freedom to Warn Act: legislation toprotect federal whistleblowers from retaliation. AmericanJournal of Nursing.108(3).