Embracing Leadership Ethics in Healthcare Institutions

Subject: Nursing
Pages: 3
Words: 815
Reading time:
4 min


Ethical leadership is a concept that revolves around the attitudes, beliefs, values, and behaviors of individuals in the workplace. For instance, in healthcare settings, nurses are required to account for the services they offer to their patients. They need to have a proper understanding of the ethical leadership issues that come along with their careers. Ethical leadership involves autonomy, care, and patient confidentiality. The patients must understand the important information about their illnesses. The nurses should ensure the confidentiality of the medical conditions of the patients. Lastly, the principle of autonomy dictates that clinical professionals should maintain the privacy of their patients at all times as a part of fulfilling leadership ethics in medical facilities. However, increased cases of breach of confidentiality and non-autonomy still occur in the nursing profession. Nurses can also use various models to promote ethical leadership in healthcare institutions. This essay provides insight into the embracement of leadership ethics in healthcare institutions.

Key Strategies Pertinent to Ethical Issues in the Nursing Profession

Ethical and leadership issues in nursing demand the implantation of several strategies with a view of improving the overall patient experience in the healthcare facilities (Aitamaa, Leino-Kilpi, Puukka, & Suhonen, 2010). This essay discusses the cognitive reframing and acknowledgment of professional obligations as some of the key strategies pertinent to leadership ethics in the hospital environment.

Cognitive Reframing Strategy

Cognitive reframing encourages nurses to learn how to stop their negative thoughts about the profession. In this strategy, they should substitute nonproductive perceptions with more positive thoughts (Suhonen, Stolt, Virtanen, & Leino-Kilpi, 2011). In this manner, the nurses counter worries about the potential negative consequences of interacting with patients by gaining moral courage. This state of affairs is important in de-catastrophizing a situation by asking oneself questions such as ‘what if?’ This situation prepares one to develop a plan to address the feared situation facing the patient. Furthermore, the cognitive reframing strategies help the nurses regain confidence in their ability to lead and plan for potential negative consequences (Frunza, 2011).

Acknowledgment of Professional Obligations Strategy

This strategy reminds nurses that their profession involves taking risks in an attempt to realize the desired changes in the patient. Whenever nurses receive negative responses from patients, they should understand such situations since they are only expressing their pains and fear of their loved ones. However, the challenge arises when the nurses begin to minimize their professional obligations. In the end, they can lose their integrity leading to intervals of burnout and indifferences. Eventually, such nurses can lose their rewards, career development opportunities, and/or the patients themselves (Crump & Sugarman, 2010).

Analysis of Evidence

A study conducted by Frunza (2011) revealed that nursing saw their profession as a risk-taking enterprise. For example, a nurse who experiences an ethical violation of a patient’s advance directive has an option to confront the decision by responding to the medical needs professionally or ignoring it altogether. Concerning ethical leadership requirements in the nursing profession, Suhonen et al. (2011) observed the ability of a nurse to de-catastrophize a situation by countering the feared negative consequences of interpersonal interaction with positive thoughts is the key to the realization of patient satisfaction.

Importance to Nursing

There are many areas where nurses have challenged ethical leadership issues in healthcare settings. However, the main area that challenges nurses is patient care. For example, the number of patients coming in for urgent treatment can overwhelm a nurse in an emergency department (Aitamaa et al., 2010). This state of affairs calls for the nurse to exercise the courage to manage the emergence situation. There is a higher risk of the nurse catastrophizing the situation due to the overwhelming emergency vehicles outside the treatment room. In this case, perhaps the nurse begins focusing on the terrible situation. However, using the reframing strategy, the nurses can easily calculate ways in which they can deal with emergencies. For instance, they can develop a way of organizing the patients as they check in the emergency rooms besides preparing various doctor schedules. This leadership strategy requires the nurse to lessen the negative thoughts about the ambulance line-up. In this manner, the nurse efficiently manages emotions thereby reducing the risk of receiving unbecoming reactions from the patient (Aitamaa et al., 2010).


In nursing, leadership strategies are stated in the code of ethics for use in the delivery of clinical services. Individuals entering the nursing profession must understand the various ethical and leadership obligations. A nurse should assess the risks with a view of using ethical solutions that bring about patient satisfaction and career fulfillment. This essay has discussed the strategic areas necessary for upholding ethical and leadership standards in the nursing profession. Finally yet important, nurse leaders should set the optimal qualifications for new nurses together with advanced training to improve their leadership ethics. This situation will enable them to make the right treatment decision thereby improving patient satisfaction.

Reference List

Aitamaa, E., Leino-Kilpi, H., Puukka, P., & Suhonen, R. (2010). Ethical Problems in Nursing Management: the Role of Codes of Ethics. Nursing Ethics, 17(4), 469-482.

Crump, J., & Sugarman, J. (2010). Ethics and Best Practice Guidelines for Training Experiences in Global Health. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 83(6), 1178-1182.

Frunza, S. (2011). Ethical Responsibility and Social Responsibility of Organizations involved in the Public Health System. Revista De Cercetare Şi Intervenţie Socială, (32), 155-171.

Suhonen, R., Stolt, M., Virtanen, H., & Leino-Kilpi, H. (2011). Organizational Ethics: a Literature Review. Nursing Ethics, 18(3), 285-303.