Interviewing a Masters Prepared Nurse

Part I: Interview of the Nurse Leader

The purpose of this interview is to evaluate what constitutes being a nurse leader. I chose to interview a master’s prepared nurse with at least 5-year experience practicing nursing and two years in a leadership position.

My interviewee Mrs. X is a “Resource Nurse Clinician” at my place of work. Her role is to ensure quality patient care, manage nursing operations, assist in teaching staff, and enforce policies and procedures and healthcare facility standards, as she narrated during the interview. The interviewee has extensive experience as a registered practicing nurse and a nurse leader. Before becoming a registered nurse, Mrs. X told me that her passion for pursuing nursing as a career began way back when she was still in high school. As a result, she excelled in biology and chemistry. She later joined a local college in 1991 to pursue a nursing diploma and later to the university where she obtained her Associate’s Degree in Nursing in 1995. Mrs. X did not stop there. She also got a Bachelor’s degree in nursing in 2000, a Master’s degree in 2006, and a “Post-Master Clinical Nurse Specialist” certification in 2012. Mrs. X is also a certified nurse in pain management and orthopedic, among other professional qualifications.

Mrs. X believed that nursing leadership entails the ability to influence other clinicians to improve the quality of care and be motivated to participate in clinical care, informing her leadership style directly. When asked about the difference between a leader and a manager, Mrs. X argued the two roles are almost similar in that bother nurse managers and leaders strive to ensure top-quality patient care in the most cost-effective, efficient, and meaningful approach. However, she asserted that nurse leaders are more hands-on when caring for patients while nurse managers operate behind the scene to ensure daily healthcare operations success.

Mrs. X said that her nursing and leadership roles changed as “Resource Nurse Clinician (RNC)” for D4 Orthopedic when she received certification as “Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS).” Receiving CNS and professional certifications elevated her position and experience, as she was now able to do additional CNS responsibilities within the current RNC roles. Mrs. X is currently the one in charge of all the staff, patients, and student education in the hospital’s D4 section. Her leadership roles and responsibility include writing, building, and changing policies, developing orthopedic pathways alongside assisting nurse staff at the bedside where there is a need. Her leadership roles have changed as she gained more experience and certification from RNC who interprets information and supports nursing practices to conducting clinical research and developing policies and pathways for care using nursing theory, critical thinking, and evidence-based practice. However, Mrs. feels that rapid technological change may affect how nurses operate in the future, prompting continuous learning.

The interview revealed several challenges facing healthcare leaders today, with the major problem being staffing issues. Mrs. X asserted jokingly that the odds are that when you ask any experienced nurse concerning leadership challenges they face, almost all of them will mention the staffing shortage. This is caused by saving decisions alongside the aging population of the workforce. She has also faced the same problem as a leader. An aging population is a barrier to quality as it places pressure on nurses, leading to burnout, which affects patient care and overall outcome.

To promote continuity of patient/client care, Mrs. X asserted that her organizations could work with other healthcare organizations, including healthcare insurance companies, medical homes, rehabilitation centers, hospices, and nursing facilities, among others, for referrals. The hospital also collaborates with other hospitals and nursing homes to provide quality and cost effective care for the elected patient population. In such a case, the hospitals working together take charge of quality and cost according to the Accountable Care Act.

Mrs. X told me that the best way to resolve/manage conflict as a healthcare leader is to prevent its occurrence or reduce its intensity and frequency. As such, the hospital leadership must establish a professional code of conduct as part of practice policies and staff bylaws. The leader must also expect healthcare variations, such as nurses taking a long time to complete a task. An example of variation cited by Mrs. X is clinicians and doctors taking longer than anticipated time for operations, a situation caused by burnout, which forced the organization to increase staff in the D4 section to prevent errors. Mrs. X’s role model was one of her supervisors who supervised her during one of the Bachelor’s degree program placements. She described the supervisor as a friend and a nurse passionate and dedicated to her work. Mrs. X advised aspiring nurses who wish to lead to love their job and dedicate themselves to continuous learning and providing top-quality patient care.

Part II:  Individual Post Reflection

My choice of a Master’s prepared nurse who has worked for at least five years in nursing roles and at least in leadership position for this interview is because such category of nurses have been exposed to higher levels of learning and therefore possess vital skills and competency (Missen, McKenna & Beauchamp, 2015). Mrs. X’s unique and impressionable leadership quality that stands out most is her dedication to excellence and continuous learning. She employs a direct leadership style, leading by example in all projects. Even though she loves delegating tasks, she takes the lead and stays involved with the team to ensure quality, which is a fundamental attribute of a nurse leader. I learned that Masters Of Science Nurses (MSN) not only sits in offices and attend meetings. They are also engaged in day-to-day patient care activities, ensuring quality outcomes.


 From the interview, I have learned that nursing leadership is more about creating a clear vision, motivating, and empowering the nurses to work towards the vision, a similar model employed by my interviewee. This leadership style falls under the transformation leadership model, where one leads by motivating and empowering others to take ownership of their responsibilities and perform beyond expectation (Hutchinson & Jackson, 2013). The leader must lead by example, and others follow.


Hutchinson, M., & Jackson, D. (2013). Transformational leadership in nursing: towards a more critical interpretation. Nursing Inquiry, 20(1), 11-22.

Missen, K., McKenna, L., & Beauchamp, A. (2015). Work readiness of nursing graduates: Current perspectives of graduate nurse program coordinators. Contemporary Nurse, 51(1), 27-38.