Applying Servant Leadership to a Nursing Practice Research Paper

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Servant leadership is a form of leadership that challenges the old top-down paradigm of leadership and suggests that the best leaders are those who work for their followers instead of having their followers work for them. This philosophy does not mean that servant leaders cannot delegate responsibilities or apply other effective management skills, but focuses strongly one two things: 1) the goal of the leader and 2) the benefits that the followers get from following the leader. "A servant-leader focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong. While traditional leadership generally involves the accumulation and exercise of power by one at the 'top of the pyramid,' servant leadership is different. The servant-leader shares power puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible" (Robert K. Greenleaf Center, 2014). According to Greenleaf, the best way to examine this goal is to focus on the people being served, not the leader.Do these people, while being served, become: "healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants?" (Robert K. Greenleaf Center, 2014). If the answers to those questions are yeses, then one is looking at a model of servant leadership. Furthermore, it is important to look at the power-structure in organizations or groups to determine whether servant-leadership is present. When there is servant-leadership, power is shared between leaders and followers, so that followers are oftentimes the driving force in any decision-making.

Incorporating servant leadership into a nursing practice is a natural and practical extension of a patient-centered philosophy of care. In a patient-centered philosophy of care, the patient's needs and concerns are going to inform all aspects of treatment. For some health-care providers, this position can be difficult to embrace because it may be easier and less time-consuming to dictate care to the patient, given the nurse's generally superior knowledge about healthcare. The first principle I choose to….....

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