NR 446 Rossetti Collaborative Healthcare Week 3 Paper

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Conflict and Its Successful Resolution

According to Finkelman (2016), conflict can arise due to various reasons and is commonly observed between individuals or groups, which is usually related to competition over resources or poor communication. In my workplace as a nurse, I have noticed a recurring conflict among the nursing staff during the start of their shift while accessing the medication dispensing machine (Omnicell). In this paper, I will discuss the four stages of conflict and suggest ways in which the nurses involved can reach out to the leadership to resolve the conflict.

Conflict Defined

In modern healthcare settings, patient-centered care is crucial, especially as patients admitted to hospitals are often more seriously ill and have shorter stays. Providing exceptional care supported by a cohesive care team is essential to improve the patient’s hospital experience and prevent professional conflict. Ylitörmänen et al. (2019) discovered in their research on nurse collaboration that good teamwork between nurses is related to patient and job satisfaction, better care quality, and a reduced desire to leave their employment. Finkelman (2016) explains that conflict can arise when individuals hold different views that seem difficult to reconcile. Manning and Curtis (2015) suggest that conflict is natural and can be a catalyst for change, but it should be approached positively without blame and focused on understanding the needs and preferences of all parties involved.

NR 446 Rossetti Collaborative Healthcare Week 3 Paper

Observed Workplace Conflict

The scenario that occurred at my workplace involved a conflict between an LVN and an RN over access to the medication dispensing machine (Omnicell). The floor had only one Omnicell for 25 beds, and after the report, nurses were anxious to pull the 8 and 9 p.m. meds for their patients. Mary, the LVN, was observed in the medication room with her workplace-on-wheels (WOW) at the Omnicell, pulling large quantities of pills for approximately four of her patients and putting them in different patient’s medication drawers. Sue, the RN, entered the room and stood waiting for her turn at the Omnicell, while call lights were buzzing non-stop. Sue asked Mary if she needed to pull all her medications right away, to which Mary replied with indifference. Sue then suggested that Mary could come back later for the remaining medications so that all nurses could pull a few meds and help answer the call lights. Mary refused and continued to pull medications for all her patients. Sue appeared aggravated and left to answer call lights while loudly telling another LVN, Lindsey, not to bother trying to get meds for her patients because Mary was hogging the Omnicell. This conflict appeared to be highly unsatisfactory, and no benefit was gained from the interaction between the involved parties.

Stages of Conflict

According to Finkelman’s (2016) framework, conflict progresses through four stages: latent, perceived, felt, and manifest. In this scenario, the conflict arises from competition over a limited resource – the Omnicell on the unit. Sue becomes aware of the conflict as she perceives the impact of the waiting patients and grows increasingly anxious. As the tension mounts, Sue experiences feelings of anxiety, anger, and stress, while Mary remains resistant to change her plan of action. Ultimately, the conflict reaches the manifest stage, which involves overt conflict. Mary continues to pull meds for all her patients, while Sue becomes visibly aggravated and exhibits destructive behavior by involving Lindsey in the conflict.

NR 446 Rossetti Collaborative Healthcare Week 3 Paper

In the scenario, Sue was clearly upset, which may negatively affect her ability to provide effective patient care as she may become short-tempered and unable to listen to her patients’ concerns and needs. Additionally, this conflict may impede Sue and Mary’s ability to collaborate as a team in the future. Finkelman (2016) outlines three steps for conflict management. The first step is to decrease or eliminate the conflict (p. 327). If Sue feels that the issue has not been resolved after the medication pass, she should ideally attempt to sit down with Mary and work towards a resolution. However, if this approach is not feasible, she could have a private conversation with her charge nurse or supervisor to discuss her concerns. By focusing on meeting the patients’ needs and providing patient-centered care, Sue would be modeling Finkelman’s (2016) second step for conflict resolution. Ideally, the supervisor would involve Mary in the discussion, thoroughly evaluate the conflict, and work towards meeting the third step of resolution, which is to ensure that all parties can work together productively, as outlined by Finkelman (2016).

Conflict Resolution and Collaboration with Nurse Leader

This nurse could play a role in resolving the conflict by collaborating with the supervisor. Basogul & Ozgur (2016) suggest that conflict resolution can involve five strategies: integrating, dominating, avoiding, obliging, and compromising. In this scenario, I would recommend using the integrating strategy, which involves open communication, exchanging information, examining differences, and working toward a creative solution (Basogul & Ozgur, 2016). This nurse would aim to keep the focus on patient-centered care and how finding a consensus among the nurses would benefit the patients. This approach aligns with the Institute of Medicine’s core competency of healthcare professionals of coordinating patient care (Finkelman, 2016).

NR 446 Rossetti Collaborative Healthcare Week 3 Paper

To resolve the conflict, I would encourage the nurses to compromise by not pulling all their meds at the start of shift. One solution could be to allow the nurse with the farthest access to the Omnicell to pull meds for three of her patients at the start of shift, then the second farthest nurse could do the same and continue on. This compromise would be an effective way to work through the differences that Mary and Sue are experiencing (Manning & Curtis, 2015). A brief huddle by all the nurses on the team at the start of the shift could also help prevent any developing conflicts. Mary needs guidance to understand that her assigned patients are not receiving the required attention if she is too busy pulling all her meds at the onset. Sue needs to be understanding of the difficulty Mary experiences with repeated trips to the Omnicell as her assignment is farthest from it.

This nurse could assist the supervisor in building a consensus among all parties. This approach would encourage all parties to work together to meet the common goal of an effective bedtime med pass and build trust between team members (Rixse, 2019).


Conflict is a common occurrence in any workplace due to varying personalities and job needs, often arising from competing resources. However, conflict can be constructive in promoting positive change, collaboration, and teamwork to provide quality patient-centered care. Understanding the four stages of conflict development (latent, perceived, felt, and manifest) is key to resolving it effectively. Effective leadership plays a vital role in conflict resolution by assessing issues, listening actively to all parties, and facilitating consensus-building through integration of ideas and fostering compromise. While achieving 100% agreement may not always be feasible, it is essential for leaders to prioritize patients’ needs and guide parties towards a collaborative solution that serves the patient’s best interests.


Basogul, C., & Özgür, G. (2016). Role of emotional intelligence in conflict management strategies of nurses. Asian Nursing Research 10(3), 228-233. Finkelman, A. (2016). Leadership and management for nurses: Core competencies for quality care (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson, 324-333. Manning, G. & Curtis, K. (2015). The art of leadership (5th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill,311. Rixse, R. (2019). Consensus-building leadership: Moving the association forward. Dental Assistant. Retrieved from url=

direct=true&db=ccm&AN=138957904&site=eds-live&scope=site Ylitörmänen, T., Turunen, H., Mikkonen, S., & Kvist, T. (2019). Good nurse–nurse collaboration implies high job satisfaction: A structural equation modelling approach. Nursing Open, 6(3), 998-1005. Retrieved from url= direct=true&db=edsdoj&AN=edsdoj.7209229a0f264acebd9076812f6a01b2&site=eds-live&scope=site