Nursing As Relational Practice

Nursing As Relational Practice—A Formal Essay

The purpose of this assignment is to synthesize and integrate what you have learned about nursing as relational practice by focusing on leadership and engaging in caring relations.  It is not an assignment about a disease.

You are asked to write a formal essay that is based on a situation where you are a nurse who is promoting the health of a selected client (the client you choose may be an individual, a family, or a community).

There are two parts to this assignment. In Part 1, you will prepare an outline about a practice situation or case study that will be the basis of your formal essay. A case study is suggested as you may find it easier to draw on your past professional experience to create your essay outline. Part 1 is not worth marks but you must submit this as an Appendix to your assignment. Do not put this in the body of your paper. You do not have to hand this in to me to review.

In Part 2, you prepare a formal essay that addresses your leadership role as well as your approach, and strategies for engaging in caring relations for your chosen client.

In preparing Part 2, which will be a maximum of five pages (excluding title page, table of contents, and reference pages), you are expected to refer to at least two peer-reviewed nursing articles, published within the last five years, as evidence of researching information that is different from, or more in-depth, than that in the course materials. Correct APA format should be used in all of your writing. You may wish to review the materials and resources on writing a scholarly paper from HLTH 3611, Professional Growth. Deadlines for submission of each part of your assignment are set out in the Course Schedule.

Part 1: Outline

The purpose of the outline is to clearly indicate the content that will be included in each section of your proposed essay and to assist you in organizing your thoughts and ideas about the essay topic. The outline is divided into three sections; content should be logically linked together to support the development of your ideas and information about the role of leadership in engaging in caring relations in the context of nursing as relational practice. The outline sections are:

Introduction: Introductory paragraph setting out what you will do or so in your paper.

Case Study: The case study and practice situation is described briefly to provide evidence about a need for you as the nurse to lead and engage in a caring relationship with your identified client.You Appendix the detailed case study.

Body: Main points to support the ways in which you will lead and engage in a caring, nurse-client relationship are outlined, barriers and enablers to building a trusting, caring relationship are considered. Strategies to promote health are also indicated. Include ideas about what you will reflect on to identify lessons learned from doing this paper about nursing as relational practice.

Conclusion: Summarize main points to be examined or discussed in the paper.

Part 2: Formal Essay (50 marks)

There are four components on which your essay will be graded as follows:

1. Case Study

Describe the practice situation or case study you have chosen and include the following information:

  1. Client characteristics—age? developmental stage? health-related needs?
  2. Situation characteristics—what is unique about this situation?
  3. Your role as the nurse—why are you involved? What contributes to a caring relation here? Are there any advocacy or social justice issues?
  4. Based on the described situation, what kind of nursing leadership will be used to further engage in caring relations with your identified client?

2. Body

  1. Describe the leadership role, your selected leadership style, and communication strategies to enhance trust building with your selected client. Support with theory.
  2. Describe challenges and enablers that support nursing as relational practice by focusing on leadership and engaging in caring relations. Include strategies (what you will do) to enhance even more caring relations between you and your identified client (e.g., consider teaching principles, role of empowerment, advocacy, social justice and the ethic of caring in nursing).  Support  with theory.
  3. Reflect on what you propose to do. Is it realistic that you will be able to maintain or enhance caring relations with your identified client? What are three lessons you have learned about the role of leadership in enhancing caring relations and facilitating nursing as relational practice? Support your reflections with theory.

3. Writing and Format (5 marks)

Review your work for writing and formatting correctness (5 marks; see Assignment 4 Rubric).



HLTH 3621: Relational Practice

Nursing as a Relational Practice




Nursing as Relational Practice

Nurses play a critical role in the healthcare system (Oldland et al., 2020; Kumar et al., 2020). According to Elizabeth Oldland et al. (2020) and World Health Organizations (2020), nurses are key personnel in healthcare and play a critical role in the coordination and provision of care, caring for disease persons, promotion of health, optimization of health services, prevention of ailments, and prevention of adverse events. Moreover, nurses are tasks encompass “collaborative care of individuals, families, and groups” (WHO, 2020; Kumar et al., 2020). This means that nurses are involved in the provision of healthcare services to a wide portion of the population. It is because of their role in healthcare that nurses make up to half of the healthcare professionals in the world (WHO, 2020). To effectively perform their roles, nurses required different sets of skills. Among the most important skill set that nurses need to have to be effective is a leadership skill. According to Reem Nassar Al-Dossary (2017), clinical leadership skills are vital for nurses as they enable them to direct and provide support to patients and healthcare teams during the provision of care. In this assignment, I will be presenting a case in which I demonstrated leadership skills while promoting the health of a patient.


Client characteristics. Mickey Jones is a 33-year old male black immigrant who resides in Springfield, Indiana. He is married and has two elementary school-age children. His wife is of Japanese descent and is considerably younger than him. Mr. Jones does not have a stable source of income as he is unemployed. Although Mr. Jones is educated, he was unable to finish his college education due to financial challenges. Moreover, he is reported to have used drugs and alcohol in college. Apart from his wife and children, Mr. Jones does not have any other family members. His mother died three years and he does not know his father.

Situation characteristics. Recently, Mr. Jones was diagnosed with hypertension. At the start, the patient was prescribed Diuril (Chlorothiazide). However, we had to combine it with Altace (Ramipril) as Diuril alone proved to be less effective. One unique about this patient is that he does not have an insurance cover. This is means that he is solely responsible for gathering for his medical fees. Considering his unemployment situation, it was challenging for him to gather for his medical fees. Moreover, the patient had a preference for herbal medicine and was reluctant to take the prescribed medication at the start. During his initial diagnosis, we had to convince him of the benefits of using the prescribed drugs and the dangers of relying on herbal medication. His wife played a critical role in changing his perception of the prescribed medication.

My role. Hope Methodist hospital has been Mr. Jones preferred medical facility for long. This in part could be because of the proximity of the hospital to his house. Having worked there for more than four years and Mr. Jones being my neighbor, I have managed to attend to Mr. Jones on different occasions. For me, I was involved in his treatment as he is not only my patient but also my neighbor. Being a neighbor and having worked with him before contributes to my caring relationship with Mr. Jones. Maintain this caring relationship would enable me to gather for his medical needs.

Kind of leadership. Mr. Jones’ resistance to medication means that he needs to change his mentality. As a nurse tasked with handling the patient, the kind of leadership that I need is transformational leadership. According to Emma Collins et al. (2019), transformational leaders can motivate and empower followers. In this case, the patient is taken as the follower as the nurse has to influence him through the provision of care. Through its individualized consideration, inspirational motivation, idealized influence, and intellectual stimulation elements; transformational leaders can influence and challenge the perception of medication. For instance, through idealized influence, I can make Mr. Jones understand the dangers associated with over-reliance on herbal medicine and neglecting or not adhering to the prescribed medication.

Leadership Role, Style and Communication Strategies

Nurses are leaders in providing patient care, as leadership is an important aspect of the delivery of effective care (Al-Dossary, 2017). According to Reem Nassar Al-Dossary (2017), nurses express their leadership qualities through decision making, critical thinking, advocacy, and action.

When it comes to healthcare delivery, nurses are considered as frontline personnel. As a result, they are pivotal for the provision of safe and high-quality care: which results in positive patient outcomes. In the case of Mr. Jones, the nurse was required to take a leadership role in ensuring that the patient changes his behavior in regard to medication. As an attending nurse, I had to make sure that Mr. Jones understands the benefit of adhering to the prescribed medication. One way of achieving this is by using my leadership skills to influencing and challenging his beliefs.

Changing Mr. Jones’ behavior and beliefs was a difficult task. This is because his beliefs define who he is (Clark, 2017, P.114). According to Cynthia Clark (2017), our nurses create, shape, influence, and provides a framework for interpreting our reality. This implies that changing Mr. Jones’ belief in herbal medicine is difficult. Despite this, as a nurse I had to attempt to change his belief. The best leadership style to challenge and change Mr. Jones’ beliefs is transformational leadership. This is because transformational leadership can motivate, inspire, and challenge him to adopt safe practices (Collins et al., 2017). One advantage that I had in changing the behavior and beliefs of Mr. Jones is that he is literate. Moreover, his wife was collaborative and played a critical role in convincing him to take the prescribed drugs.

Communication played a critical role in changing Mr. Jones’ beliefs. This is because communication was used as a strategy of conveying the necessary change messages. During our interaction, I used different communication strategies. The first communication strategy that I adopted is to include his wife as the caregiver. This was based on the premise that caregivers or relatives play a critical role in communicating with patients. According to Elizabeth Manias (2015), family members can facilitate communication in healthcare by supporting patients in decision making, especially in regards to medication management and the exchange of information with health professionals. Mr. Jones’ wife was critical in convincing Mr. Jones on medication management.

Another communication strategy that I used is the teach-back method. According to Peggy H. Yen and A. Renee Leasure (2019), the teach-back method is an effective method for reinforcing patient education. The resistance shown by Mr. Jones shows makes it necessary to reinforce the learned items. When using the strategy, I would ask the patient to state the given instructions including the dosage and the stipulated time. Under this strategy, I was able to confirm the patients understanding of the given instructions and the change level. Other communication strategies that I adopted included the use of plain language (language that can easily be understood by the patient); use of multi-disciplinary approach, which involves included other professionals; use of note-taking; use of various teaching materials including written materials, audio and videos; and the use of question and answer. Through the use of different communication strategies, I was able to win the trust of the patient as they facilitated our interaction. Moreover, the use of different communication strategies was important as it portrayed the nurse as someone concerned with the needs of the patient. This trust was critical to changing the beliefs of the patient as it helped clear the uncertainty that the patient had about the use of modern medicine. At the end of our interaction, Mr. Jones accepted to use o the prescribed medication and leave the herbal medication.

Challenges and enablers

The relational nursing practice involves understanding the healthcare needs of the patient within complicated contexts (Zhou, 2016). In my dealing with Mr. Jones, the concept of relational practice was critical as it facilitated the delivery of care. However, while engaging in caring relations with the patient, I faced a lot of challenges. First, there was a cultural difference with the patient. In essence, the patient was from a different background from mine. According to Khalid M. Almutairi (2015), cultural misunderstandings between patients and healthcare providers contributes to poor quality of care and patient dissatisfaction. As a leader, this made it difficult to influence and change the belief of the patients. Moreover, it impacted our communication and interaction as misunderstandings were common. For instance, while I failed to understand the logic behind the use of herbal medication to manage his condition, he was convinced that they were the best option for it. However, through the help of other nurses and his wife, I was able to overcome the problem of culture and influence him. Another challenge was the view that the patient had on the cost. According to Jennifer Kim (2018), the cost of medication is one of the contributing factors to non-adherence to medication by patients. Being from a minority group and without insurance, Mr. Jones was reluctant to take medication that he viewed as expensive. Although this can be understandable, it prevented him from understanding the importance of the medication. As a leader, in this case, my focus was on emphasizing the benefits of the medication over the cost.

Enablers played a critical role in ensuring that caring relations succeed when handling Mr. Jones. One enabler of caring relations was the patient himself. Despite his initial resistance, Mr. Jones was very cooperative throughout the medication. According to Lyndon Morley and Angela Cashell (2017), collaborating with the patient is beneficial as it improves the quality of care, improves patient engagement, and addressing the safety of patients. Moreover, he was willing to learn, which made it easy for me to influence his belief. Another item that I can identify as an enable of caring relation was literacy level. Having gone through high school, both Mr. Jones and his wife were easier to teach. This is because it was easier for them to understand the learning materials. Another enabler was his wife. This is because she helped her husband in making a crucial decision about medication.


Nursing relational practice played a critical call in addressing the care needs of Mr. Jones. Through it, the special healthcare needs of Mr. Jones. Looking into our interaction and collaboration throughout the treatment period, I think I can maintain and enhance the caring relation with Mr. Jones.

From the experience, I think I can draw several lessons. First, I have learned that as leaders, nurses have the role of addressing the needs of patients (Lutz & Green, 2016). This can be challenging because these needs vary and are unique from patient to patient. Secondly, I have learned that communication strategies between nurses and patients determine their working relationship (Sibiya, 2018). Therefore, nurses have the role of designing the best communication strategy for engaging with patients. Lastly, I have learned that nurses need to be advocates of their patients. According to Lois Gerber (2018), nurses are tasked with advocating for the patients. through advocacy, nurses can use their leadership skills to ensure that the interest of their patients is gathered.


Al-Dossary, R. N. (2017). Leadership in nursing. Contemporary Leadership Challenges.

Almutairi, K. (2015). Culture and language differences as a barrier to provision of quality care by the health workforce in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Medical Journal, 36(4), 425-431.

Collins, E., Owen, P., Digan, J., & Dunn, F. (2019). Applying transformational leadership in nursing practice. Nursing Standard, 35(5), 59-66.

Cynthia Clark, A. (2017). Creating & sustaining civility in nursing education, 2nd ed. Sigma Theta Tau.

Gerber, L. (2018). Understanding the nurseʼs role as a patient advocate. Nursing, 48(4), 55-58.

Kim, J., Combs, K., Downs, J., & Tillman III, F. (2018). Medication Adherence: The Elephant in the Room. US Pharm, 43(1), 30-34.

Kumar, S., Aggarwal, D., Swain, S., Ramachandran, A., & Chaturvedi, V. (2020). Changing role of nursing cadre under emerging zoonotic diseases. Indian Journal of Community Medicine, 45(5), 9.

Lutz, B. J., & Green, T. (2016). Nursing’s role in addressing palliative care needs of stroke patients. Stroke, 47(12).

Manias, E. (2015). Communication relating to family members’ involvement and understandings about patients’ medication management in hospital. Health Expectations, 18(5), 850-866.

Morley, L., & Cashell, A. (2017). Collaboration in health care. Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences, 48(2), 207-216.

Oldland, E., Botti, M., Hutchinson, A. M., & Redley, B. (2020). A framework of nurses’ responsibilities for quality healthcare — Exploration of content validity. Collegian, 27(2), 150-163.

Sibiya, M. N. (2018). Effective communication in nursing. Nursing.

Yen, P. H., & Leisure, A. R. (2019). Use and effectiveness of the teach-back method in patient education and health outcomes. Federal Practitioner, 36(6), 284-289.

Zou, P. (2016). Relational practice in nursing: A case analysis. Nursing and Health Care, 9-13.


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