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Ethical Principles and Leadership Skills

Ethical Principles in DNP Practice

Ethical issues are necessary to consider while carrying out a quality improvement project. This paper will apply this term to a Capstone project (CPR) that is dedicated to the reduction of catheter-associated urinary tract infections. It will argue that for CPR to achieve the desired outcome, which is the improvement of the quality of care and patient well-being, ethical conduct is necessary.

The advancement of quality in healthcare is an ethical endeavor for a nurse. In the ethics code of the American Nurses Association (2015), Provision 7 highlights this fact. However, the American Nurses Association (2015) demands the implementation of only evidence-based solutions. Finkelstein et al. (2015) and Polit and Beck (2017) also emphasize this idea, which demonstrates that rigorous research should precede the choice of the intervention meant for a change. This factor can be considered an ethical requirement for CPR to achieve its desired outcome.

Furthermore, the project needs to correspond to the ethics of nursing research. The latter has been emphasized in some recent sources; for example, Finkelstein et al. (2015) focus on the importance of oversight in ensuring the protection of human subjects. While it can be argued that such oversight slows projects down, it is a necessary precaution. In the case of CPR, rather vulnerable populations are going to be recruited (older people), and since the desired outcome is to improve their well-being, treating them ethically is a requirement.

Other ethical problems might arise as well in connection to project implications. For instance, accurate data reporting that would ensure the truthful representation of the findings is an ethical concern (Polit & Beck, 2017). Thus, the presented sources support the idea that for CPR to be successful and for the associated change to have the desired outcomes, especially high-quality care, and patient well-being, ethical conduct is necessary.

Leadership Skills

There are many components to leadership, and those related to the interpersonal sphere are among the central ones. The skills that comprise political acumen, which is the ability to recognize and handle (manipulate) organizational and other interpersonal dynamics, are not discussed in connection to nursing very often (Montalvo & Byrne, 2016). This paper will present two recent peer-reviewed articles that focus on this topic and specifically reference this term. They will be considered in detail, and their findings will be applied to the process of developing CPR.

Montalvo (2015) published a literature review, which incorporated a total of 38 high-quality studies that were published between 2000 and 2014 and examined the topic of political skills in nursing. Most articles were descriptive, and only two quasi-experiments and one meta-analysis were located. The findings demonstrated that the articles explored the usefulness of political skills for one’s personal development, as well as career growth, but they also showed their importance for leadership, team management, and conflict resolution. For CPR, the article demonstrates the importance of the skills for a person who leads a team, for instance, during change. Therefore, Montalvo (2015) presents an unusual perspective on leadership skills that would be useful in conducting a quality improvement project.

Montalvo and Byrne (2016) reported the results of a survey (n=115) which targeted nurses who had or were about to receive a Doctor of Nursing degree. The questionnaires of the project measured the nurses’ mentoring experiences and political skills. The findings suggested that effective mentorship was associated with improved political skills. Thus, the study can make recommendations regarding the development of political skills, although it is an individual study of an under-researched phenomenon that does not have a very large sample. From the perspective of CPR, the article’s insight can be used for reframing the project’s leadership to incorporate political skills and developing an actionable plan of promoting the researcher’s political acumen to enable more effective management of CPR.

To summarize, political acumen in nursing leaders is not unexplored, but very few studies have been conducted to check for relationships between it and other variables. Therefore, the framing of leadership in nursing from the perspective of political skills can be considered unusual. Still, the presented articles indicate that for a change agent and quality improvement leader, political acumen is important to master, and one of them makes suggestions about the potential mechanisms achieving this outcome.


American Nurses Association. (2015). Code of ethics for nurses with interpretive statements. Web.

Califf, R., & Sugarman, J. (2015). Exploring the ethical and regulatory issues in pragmatic clinical trials. Clinical Trials: Journal of the Society for Clinical Trials, 12(5), 436-441.

Finkelstein, J. A., Brickman, A. L., Capron, A., Ford, D. E., Gombosev, A., Greene, S. M.,… Staman, K. L. (2015). Oversight on the borderline: Quality improvement and pragmatic research. Clinical Trials: Journal of the Society for Clinical Trials, 12(5), 457-466.

Montalvo, W. (2015). Political skill and its relevance to nursing. JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration, 45(7/8), 377-383.

Montalvo, W., & Byrne, M. (2016). Mentoring nurses in political skill to navigate organizational politics. Nursing Research and Practice, 2016, 1-8.

Polit, D.F., & Beck, C.T. (2017). Nursing research: Generating and assessing evidence for nursing practice (10th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.

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