Interview of a Nursing Leader


Patrick Gagnon is an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) at“Care One Agency”. His area of specialty is geropsychiatricnursing, in both training and education. Patrick’s nursing leaderrole involves working as the facilitator, trainer and educator. Hefacilitates between the assessment team, which comprises of thepsychiatry, social work, neurology, internal medicine, extended carefacility management and employees, as well as families. Patrick alsoguides interactions and eases communication amid all disciplines. Inaddition, the nursing leader is involved in the education as well astraining of personnel on how they should use non-pharmacologicalmedications in managing behaviors, which relate to dementia.

Patrick was chosen for this interview due to his dedication innursing. He is dedicated towards the provision of care to the oldpopulation, and ensures that he educates his fellow workmates on howto take care of the elderly. As a dedicated nurse, Patrick was morewilling to provide information relating to his role. Despite workingfor six days in a week, he spends even his free time informing,mentoring and enlightening individuals on different nursingpractices. Some of the areas he provides training on includedifferent topics like dementia and the conditions medications, forinstance the previous week he educated my students on dementia.

“Care One Agency” is an organization that is involved in theprovision of geropsychiatric coverage. The coverage is provided toresidents in extended care facilities within Connecticut. The agencyconcentrates its efforts on addressing the perils as well as concernslinked with the incorrect employment of antipsychotic drugs whentreating the old. The agency also focuses on facilitating theadvancement of person-centered behavior training programs in nursingcare centers. The ultimate objective of the organization and Patrick,as a nursing leader, is working towards the improvement of thequality of life for persons with several forms of dementia.

Leaders Answers

  1. What is the leader’s personal philosophy/theory/model of leadership?

Patrickuses situational, charismatic and transformational leadership. Theleader’s model of leadership depends on the population he isworking with. This is because facilities differ as some have moreresources compared to others. There are facilities that require moretraining, which mandates for a change in the programs provided. Insuch instances, Patrick uses situational method of leadership. Theleadership style is suitable for the role of nursing leader becauseit ensures that the nurse realizes the different work situations anduses different approaches. Charismatic leadership applies whendealing with staff. Patrick desires to have staff that associatefreely with him, and are able to approach him at any moment seekingclarification. By being charismatic, he is able to inspire the samepassion in his personnel when they are dealing with the elderly.Transformational leadership is apparent when coaching and inspiringstaff to use different treatments and approaches for residents inConnecticut. In his job, Patrick’s philosophy is “we work intheir homes”.

  1. What outcomes does the leader believe measure effectiveness/success as a leader?

Inmeasuring the effectiveness, the nursing leader ensures that theyaccount for any medication that is used within any facility theycover. In addition, Patrick maintains a yearly survey that comprisesof feedback that he collects concerning the effectiveness as well assatisfactory report of personnel from residents that have dementia.In the previous few years, Patrick says the reports indicate moresatisfaction and minimal staff turnover. In addition, has been anincrease in the figure of students that demonstrate interest inlearning about dementia care. Such outcomes are a major indicator ofmeasuring effectiveness, which also demonstrate that Patrick’s roleas a leader has been successful.

  1. What does the leader perceive are his/her supports for effective leadership?

Patrickbelieves that the support he gets from his followers is good support.Followers refer to the individuals that he works with, those heassists through mentoring staff and motivating to experiment on newtreatments. The staff acts as support because by following whatPatrick advises them to, they demonstrate that his leadership iseffective.

  1. What does the leader perceive are his/her barriers to effective leadership?

Barriersinclude lower representation of nurses in staff boards, restrictingbudget and resistant facilities. Patrick notes that during theiractivities, they come across facilities, which opt to draw away fromoutsiders. The facilities also depict a lot of resistance towards anychanges that may be introduced in their centers, hence making it hardfor Patrick to succeed in training such staff. Many facilities areunwilling to invest in the training of new programs or in theeducating of their personnel. As such, Patrick is limited in thelevel of training that he offers in such treatments. The training israrely enough to have any positive influence and change the behaviorof staff. Last, there are no nurses on staff boards. Staff boardsplay an important role in making decisions that affect facilities.There lack of representation means that nurses are not involved inimportant policy making of facilities. Hence, Patrick feels limitedin the number of facilities that are open to his training.

  1. What policies (local, state, national) impact leadership decisions?

Patricknotes that policies, which have an impact on nursing leadershipdecisions are numerous. However, he notes Medicare as one of thepolicies. Medicare and coverage, referring to the medications thatare covered as well as procedures covered.

  1. Who represents the followership or people this leader leads?

Futureand current nurses represent the followership that Patrick leads thathe mentors, trains and instructs. These include staff from theextended care facilities that he covers, which includes theproviders, families of residents he provides care to, and co-workersfrom “Care One Agency”.

  1. What is the area the leader would most like to improve?

Patrickwould like to improve education on dementia. He desires to seedementia-specific training for hospital emergency room staff, whichinvolves the physicians. The nursing leaders also desires to seebasic dementia education provided to all first responders and police,probate judges and court personnel. Last, Patrick wants to seesurveys on dementia care education and experience that carry outstate investigations in extended care facilities.

  1. What is the leader most proud of?

Patrickis proud of the impact he has made on the facilities he has coveredin the previous years. Notably, is the drop in the use of medicationsas well as the continuous use of a combined strategy of medicationand non-pharmacological when important. Patrick is also happy withthe improvement in staff satisfaction, education and understanding onthe progression of dementia. He is proud of the work he does withplamaqcetucical companies, for instance his involvement withcommunities to bring the availability of Namenda to the UnitedStates. Patrick has written a number of articles on alternativemedications for treating behaviors associated with dementia andalternative therapies.

Summation of Major Leadership Qualities

Researchdemonstrates that it is not possible to have a healthy workenvironment in nursing facilities when nurse leaders are incapable ofsupporting the importance of the facilities (Klainberg&amp Dirschel, 2010).Nurse leaders must support and engage other people towards theachievement of the set objectives within the facilities they work asleaders. Accessible nurse leaders play a crucial role in assisting tooffer nurses a voice towards the improvement of patient caresurroundings. The leadership ought to be present all the time(Klainberg&amp Dirschel, 2010).Leaders can assist in the creation of a satisfactory organizationalculture through the engagement of staff in the advancement of valuesthat are shared within an organization. This involves the shift froma conventional command leadership method when supervising staff tousing transformational leadership, where the leader is able toimprove on performance via motivation and building a strongerself-esteem.

Patrick meets the above leadership qualities. It is possible toconclude that he is an effective nurse leader. From the interview, itis apparent that he has passion for his work. This is apparent in thelevel of hard work as well as persistence, which he places inwhatever he does. As a nursing leader, he understands that it is hisrole to change people and ensure that they provide the best patientcare. To achieve this objective, he has focused on the use oftransformational leadership instead of opting to command staff intodoing what he deems right. Transformational leadership is aneffective approach to leadership. Instead of the traditionalleadership where the leader commands staff on what to do,transformational leadership creates an open working relationshipbetween staff and their leader. The leader provides education,training and any other relevant information, which works towardsimproving the quality of care. In the interview with Patrick, it isapparent that he emphasizes on the relevance of training andeducating his staff on the area of specialty, which is dementia. Bytraining and educating the staff nurse on how to provide care, itbecomes possible for him to work together with his staff as a team.

Patrick is dedicated in the work that he does. As a nursing leader,he realizes his role in making positive change to the wellbeing ofresidents. This is demonstrated in how he demonstrates concerntowards the use of alternative treatment for patients that havedementia. Patrick endeavors to research and conclude on treatmentapproaches that he feels are most suitable in improving patient care.This means that as a nurse leader, he does not just focus on ensuringthat nurses under his leadership perform their roles. Rather, he isfocused on ensuring that as nurses perform their roles their actionsare in the best interest of the patients he serves. Dedicationtowards service is an important trait because it ensures that thenurse leader works towards effective change in treatment of patients,not only in the agency he works for, but within different facilities.In the interview, it is apparent that Patrick is involved in not onlytraining staff nurse from the agency he works for, but differentagencies. In addition, he offers training to students that aspire tobecome nurses.

There is a lot that has been learnt from the interview. Mostimportant are the characteristics of a good nurse leader. A goodnurse leader is an individual that is able to inspire otherindividuals in working together towards achieving common objectives,like improved patient care (Klainberg&amp Dirschel, 2010).Patrick realizes that in improving patient care as well as newapproaches in the treatment of dementia, he needs the support of hisstaff nurse. Hence, he uses training and education as a platform forinspiring other individuals to work with him in the improvement ofcare. Notably, he has made progress in dementia patient care, and hasmanaged to get support from staff. The surveys he conducts indicatethat the nursing leadership approach employed has been effective. Inprospect, such information is important when pursuing a nursingleadership role. One realizes that they will need to motivate theirstaff and ensure that they agree on the set objectives, thus worktowards meeting them.

A different trait learnt is that an effective nurse leader must haveseveral individual traits. These include being courageous,initiative, having integrity and the capability of dealing withstress (Klainberg&amp Dirschel, 2010).Admiration for the leader derives from their endeavors at thinkingcritically, setting objectives and communicating skillfully.Communication is very important for any nurse leader. It ensures thatgoals are clear, training and education is conducted in a manner thatresults in positive change through improved understanding. Patrick isable to communicate well with staff and students he trains. This isapparent through the interview. He was cooperative in answering theentire interview questions as asked. He is courageous in presentinghis responses and articulating what he desires to achieve in hisrole. Nursing can be stressing, especially when having to facilitatecommunication between different teams of people. It becomes morestressing as a nurse leader because other staff looks up to theleader, who guides them on what to do. The interview informs that onemust have courage and a high level of stress management. Patrickdepicts a lot of courage in his work. He meets different people,trains many and is engaged in activities with organizations onimproving patient care. All through the interview, Patrick comes outas a strong character and one that is not affected by any stress thatmay derive from his work.

Most important is that nursing leaders are the key towardstransformational nursing. The interview informs that a nurse leadershould not merely be content with their function as a leader withinthe organization. Instead, they need to go the extra mile and come upwith more effective manners of transforming nursing practice.Patients depend on nurses for care. To make any improvements in thewellbeing of patients, nurses must have knowhow on how to handle themany patient needs. The nurses need to be informed on alternativetreatment methods that work better for patients. Such approachestowards transforming care can be achieved through continuouseducation and contribution in nursing. Patrick has demonstrated this,through his continuous effort at offering training to staff nurse. Inaddition, Patrick has written articles, which inform on bettertreatment approaches in dementia. This projects the leader as atransformational nurse because he does not just inspire change in hisstaff, but endeavors to ensure more people are aware of bestpractices in treating dementia.


Klainberg, M. B., &amp Dirschel,K. M. (2010).&nbspToday`snursing leader: Managing, succeeding, excelling.Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.