Nurse Manager Shadowing Experience Essay

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One of the most important elements towards developing necessary skills and competencies in the nursing field is shadowing a practitioner in a healthcare setting or unit. The shadowing experience helps in observing how a nurse practitioner applies nursing concepts in daily activities that focus on delivery of high quality patient care. As a nursing leadership and management student, my shadowing experience involved observing WW, a nurse manager of a cardiac progressive unit. This paper provides a discussion of the shadowing experience with this nurse manager, which focused on identifying leadership styles she utilized to accomplish daily activities in the unit and enhance patient care. The discussion includes a review of the position, credentials, and leadership styles of the nurse manager. This paper also includes an explanation of how the nurse manager handled a conflict using the leadership style. An explanation regarding how the shadowing experience has changed my impression of the Nurse Manager's role will be included as well as the effectiveness of my leadership style in the organization.

Observations of the Nursing Manager's Role

During the span of this course on nursing leadership and management, I have been shadowing WW, the nurse manager for Cardiac Progressive Unit. WW has worked as a nurse on the unit for a decade and became the nurse manager for this unit 3 years ago. Prior to becoming the nurse manager, WW worked in supervisory roles in the unit, which entailed examining whether the nurses were meeting the specific goals for the day and any need for improvement. The other nurses in the unit recognize WW as a friend and mentor whose main motivation is to enhance the quality of patient care. She has received recognition from other members of the Cardiac Progressive Unit and the organization's top leadership for her commitment to excellent patient care services.

The shadowing experience involved arriving at the healthcare organization at 7:00 am and meeting with the nurse manager before she commenced her activities of the day. Given the busy nature of her role in the organization, the shadowing took place once a week for at least five hours. When commencing her duties for the day, WW would meet with her colleagues for at least 30 minutes to set goals for the day and identify ways of meeting these goals. During the day, she would always talk to her juniors and take time to sit down and talk to patients in the unit. Additionally, she ensured that all nurses in the unit perform their respective roles and reminded them of their roles and the specific goals for day. Her constant talks with patients were geared towards obtaining their feedback regarding the kind of service they received and identifying how to improve service delivery.

Based on my observations during shadowing, WW was an active listener and empathetic communicator, especially when spending time with the unit's patients.
Through this, she would learn things regarding patients that they may not have shared with other nurses or healthcare professionals. She also focused on establishing a healthcare environment characterized by increased physician-nurse collaboration, nurse-nurse collaboration, and nurse-leader collaboration. This helped in enhancing the quality of patient care since the various care providers in the unit worked as a team during delivery of patient care. For instance, physicians received complete information from nurses relating to patient issues because of the increased collaboration between these professionals. At the end of the nursing shift, WW would sit down with the nurses to review the activities of the day and assess the effectiveness of care delivery processes. The reviewed helped in identifying areas of improvement and the nurses' experiences when delivering patient care in order to enhance the overall effectiveness of the unit in meeting the needs of patients.

Position, Credentials and Leadership Style of the Nurse Manager

As previously indicated, the nurse leader I worked with to meet the shadowing requirements of the course is the nurse manager of the Cardiac Progressive Unit (2s) at the healthcare organization. While she has worked in supervisory roles in the unit before, WW has held the position of Nurse Manager of the unit for the last 3 years. She holds a Masters of Science in Nursing Administration from the University of Texas Arlington and a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management from Walden University. She has more than 10 years of clinical experience and has worked in middle management positions in different nursing facilities before. Prior to being appointed the nurse manager of the Cardiac Progressive Unit (2s) at the hospital, WW was a nurse supervisor in the same unit for more than 3 years.

WW's leadership style as the nurse manager can be described as transformational leadership style, which she utilized to ensure that the nursing staff in the unit performed their respective duties as expected and met the desired goals. According to Perez (2014), transformational leadership style involves motivating subordinates or juniors through appealing to higher moral values and ideals. WW's use of this leadership style is evident in the fact that she gave the subordinates individualized attention when discussing the goals and responsibilities of the nurses. Additionally, her use of this leadership style is evident in her focus and commitment to the vision and mission of the healthcare organization with regards to delivery of excellent patient care services that result in better outcomes. The major characteristics of WW's transformational leadership approach when working with her juniors include individualized consideration/attention, idealized influence, and motivation.

Moreover, her empathetic communication and active listening was an indicator of transformational leadership that is geared towards creating a highly motivating healthcare environment.….....

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Cipriano, P.F. (2011, March). Move Up the Role of Nurse Manager. American Nurse Today, 6(3). Retrieved from

Hendel, T. Fish, M. & Galon, V. (2005, March). Leadership Style and Choice of Strategy in Conflict Management Among Israeli Nurse Managers in General Hospitals. Journal of Nursing Management, 13(2), 137-146.

Perez, J.W.L. (2014). Impact of Nurse Managers' Leadership Styles on Staff Nurses' Intent to Turnover. Retrieved from Gardner-Webb University website:

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