Nurse Manager’s Role in Conflict Resolution

Workplace conflicts occur in all organizations, requiring managers to develop conflict resolution skills. Conflicts among health care providers pose an especially urgent problem, as they can adversely affect patient outcomes. The causes of conflicts can range from simple misunderstandings and communication failures to more profound clashes of values, personalities, or objectives (Vukmir, 2016). While such disputes can be disruptive and distracting, they also present unique opportunities for individual and organizational growth (Lahana et al., 2019). Minimizing damage and extracting maximal benefits from the conflict resolution process is a crucial task for nurse managers in health care organizations. Achieving those goals requires an approach that acknowledges each conflict situation’s uniqueness and the complex individuality of the people involved. In this paper, I will assume the role of a nurse manager dealing with specific conflict situations to demonstrate how a sensitive approach can turn conflicts into opportunities.

Interpersonal Behavior Problem Case

The ability to cooperate seamlessly and effectively within a unit can be just as important to medical care outcomes as other nursing skills. For this reason, interpersonal skills are now seen as being a core competency for health care providers (Vukmir, 2016). Isaac’s case shows the dangers of neglecting this aspect of nursing, as his brusque and insulting communications with other nurses discourage them from working, directly damaging productivity. His behavior contributes to a negative work environment that undermines morale and adversely affects nurse retention (McCay et al., 2018). The disruption caused by Isaac’s unprofessional conduct is compounded by his status as a senior staff nurse. Nurses in leadership positions must communicate efficiently with their subordinates and serve as role models (Vukmir, 2016). A nurse manager’s responsibility is to ensure a positive work environment by addressing interpersonal conflicts and their causes. As an assistant nurse manager, I should bring the situation to my superiors’ attention, as it may have broader implications for the health care unit. However, I must also take steps to resolve the conflict myself.

The intervention must not only modify Isaac’s behavior but also help him develop as a professional. Punishing or excluding him must not be the goal, especially as he is an otherwise competent nurse. Instead, the preferred outcome would be to help him repair his professional relationships and become an effective nurse leader (McCay et al., 2018). Since the previous informal approach had failed, a formal interview will be necessary (Vukmir, 2016). I would give Isaac a set date to let him prepare for a productive meeting and inform him of the other nurses’ anonymous feedback in advance. During the meeting, I will adopt a nonjudgmental attitude and try to learn why the problematic pattern persists. If Isaac also has workplace complaints, they should be addressed as well. We will then work together to create an action plan to improve Isaac’s behavior. I will give him access to educational resources, such as reading materials or training programs that could help him improve his interpersonal skills or manage other problems. By following those steps and monitoring Isaac’s adherence to the action plan, I hope to reintegrate him into the team.

Negotiating Holiday Coverage

The allocation of work during holidays is a highly sensitive process that may lead to serious practical and psychological consequences for the entire unit. Any unfairness in the distribution of holiday coverage, whether real or perceived, can undermine morale and trust, leading to further disruptions (Vukmir, 2016). Genuinely inequitable scheduling, in which the same people’s holiday requests are repeatedly denied, is even more fraught. In addition to lowering nurse satisfaction, such a situation can lead to increased burnout and a reduced level of patient care (McCay et al., 2018). It may also lead nurses to call off from work or refuse to show up, contributing to a culture of absenteeism (Vukmir, 2016). Nevertheless, staff discussion of perceived unfairness also provides an opportunity to resolve real inequities and reinforce the organization’s values. Thus, addressing holiday coverage allocation involves both preventing problems and proactively fostering a positive work environment.

As a nurse manager, I will approach the problem by involving all the staff members in developing an equitable solution. This effect will be achieved through a formal staff meeting to discuss the holiday plans. It is essential to intervene as quickly as possible, as trying to avoid the problem shows a lack of leadership and contributes to organizational dysfunction (Lahana et al., 2019). Conversely, the active collaboration model can help defuse any interpersonal conflicts connected to the matter and expose any real inequities in the previous holiday coverage patterns. The solution must be transparent if it is to truly assuage the staff’s concerns (Vukmir, 2016). To that end, I will share the provisional holiday schedule with all the interested parties and mediate in further negotiation between staff members. Together, we should be able to reach a mutually satisfactory final arrangement. In addition to ensuring fair and efficient workload distribution, this collaboration should enhance overall teamwork and interpersonal communication skills.


Conflicts inevitably arise in the workplace, and health care provider organizations are no exceptions. To improve nurse satisfaction and the quality of care, the nurse manager must take proactive steps to resolve conflicts by addressing their causes. In Isaac’s case, this means staging an intervention to help Isaac correct his behavior and improve his professional interpersonal skills. In the case of holiday coverage negotiation, effective collaboration between staff members must be arranged to create a fair and transparent schedule. Respecting the interests and concerns of all interested parties is essential to effective management. By working together with the nurses, I would be able to turn conflicts into opportunities for growth.


Lahana, E., Tsaras, K., Kalaitzidou, A., Galanis, P., Kaitelidou, D., & Sarafis, P. (2019). Conflicts management in public sector nursing. International Journal of Healthcare Management, 12(1), 33-39. Web.

McCay, R., Lyles, A. A., & Larkey, L. (2018). Nurse leadership style, nurse satisfaction, and patient satisfaction: a systematic review. Journal of Nursing Care Quality, 33(4), 361-367. Web.

Vukmir, R. B. (2016). Disruptive healthcare provider behavior: an evidence-based guide. Springer.

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