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A registered nurse has a leadership role which involves providing patient care in different contexts to improve health outcomes. They therefore require attributes that result to lifelong learning, research, healthcare policy, individual development of self, and other people as well. They need to have attributes which include good problem solving skills, critical analysis skills, well informed and able to share knowledge, be aware of ethical guidelines, efficient interpersonal skills, self-confidence, effective communication skills, sensitive to multicultural factors, computer literacy, leadership skills and teamwork among others. Nurses require interpersonal skills to enable deal with conflicts, which are difficult to avoid in the workplace. This is because there is diversity in race, cultural and social characteristics which tend to clash from time to time. They should be knowledgeable and be able to share and use this knowledge in their work. Team work is very important and being an effective team player is important because it enables nurses to maintain a friendly workplace environment in order to achieve the set objectives. They need to be presentable, as image is very important in the role of a nurse. They should be physically and emotionally strong, and have a positive attitude so as to maintain a positive work environment. They need to be accountable, to themselves and others as they have a responsibility to ensure that safety is maintained in the workplace and quality health care service is delivered to patients. These attributes also help to promote health and achieve individual goals and outcomes and those of others (Sivamalai, 2008).
Critical thinking and reflection constitutes self-appraisal, recognizing the significance of research in the practice and professional development. Reflecting on the nursing or midwifery practice, and recognising other people’s feelings, beliefs and their outcomes, is good for the profession. Critical thinking has been in use for many years in the practice of nursing and midwifery. Thinking is vital for reflection. Being able to think systematically and rationally brings about a sense of reflective consciousness. Critical thinking enhances safe practice and competency among nurses and midwives. It enables them to make safe and efficient decisions regarding their work. It involves scientific reasoning, use of the nursing process, making decisions and reasoning on issues. It enables nurses to make the rational decisions about the most effective ways to achieve their goals. Reflection in nursing and midwifery facilitates technical control and improvement of procedural approaches to their work.
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