AONL Competencies Workplace Conflicts

Assignment: Workplace Conflicts

Conflict is inevitable in every profession and organization, and nursing and the broader healthcare field are no exception. Conflict can result from poor communication, jurisdiction issues, low trust, bullying, stress and heavy workloads, and poor leadership.

These issues cause not only staff turnover, inefficiency, and expense to the organization but also disruption of care and diminished patient outcomes. Whether at the individual or organizational level, nurse leaders can affect change to improve these outcomes and move teams and organizations toward their mission and values.

Consider some of the AONL competencies that stress leadership, professionalism, and the ability to resolve and manage conflict. How might you approach these situations? In this Assignment, you reflect on a conflict situation you have experienced in the workplace. Considering what you have focused on in this module, how might you approach this same conflict today?

To prepare:

  • Review Resources related to conflict, violence, and bullying in the workplace as well as effective communication for resolving conflict.
  • Consider a situation in your workplace in which you experienced a conflict (e.g., bullying, interpersonal conflict between staff members). Reflect on how the situation was handled at that time.
  • Considering the IHI (2017) and ANA (2015) resources, as well as the AONL competencies, reflect on how you could have been more effective in resolving this conflict situation or avoiding unnecessary misunderstandings in your case example.

Assignment (3–4 pages)

For your selected workplace conflict, write a reflective conflict analysis memo in which you address the following:

  1. Describe the situation and conflict.
  2. Explain how you handled the conflict at the time. Describe strategies you employed to resolve the conflict.
  3. Reflecting on the final outcome, explain how you would approach the conflict differently to improve your effectiveness at managing the situation.
  4. Referencing the IHI (2017) and ANA (2015) resources, and the AONL competencies, explain how you might implement strategies to encourage a culture of safety and respect to decrease conflict and bullying in the workplace in the future.


  • Mestas, L., Salas, S., Stockman, R., Thomas P. L., & Roussel, L. (2020). Leading in an era of change and uncertainty: Driving excellence in practice while developing leaders of the future. In L. Roussel, P. L. Thomas, & J. L. Harris (Eds.), Management and leadership for nurse administrators (8th ed., 81–98). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
  • Ward-Presson, K. M. (2020). Managing performance. In L. Roussel, P. L. Thomas, & J. L. Harris (Eds.), Management and leadership for nurse administrators (8th ed., 227–250). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning. 
  • Clingerman, E., & Thomas, P. L. (2020). Polarity thinking: A lens for embracing wicked problems, conflict, and resistance in health care. In L. Roussel, P. L. Thomas, & J. L. Harris (Eds.), Management and leadership for nurse administrators (8th ed., 419–432). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
  • American Organization for Nursing Leadership. (2015). AONL nurse executive competencies. Retrieved from
  • Bagnasco, A., Aleo, G., Timmins, F., Catania, G., Zanini, M., & Sasso, L. (2018). Educating our future generation: The role of nurse managers in encouraging civility. Journal of Nursing Management, 26(8), 899–901.
  • Carmody, C. (2014, February 27). Toward civility. Retrieved from
  • Clark, C. M., Olender, L., Cardoni, C., Kenski, D. (2011). Fostering civility in nursing education and practice. The Journal of Nursing Administration, 41(7/8), 324–330. 
  • IHI Multimedia Team. (2017). Move beyond staff satisfaction to measure joy in work.Retrieved from 
  • Perlo, J., Balik, B., Swensen, S., Kabcenell, A., Landsmen, J., & Feely, D. (2017). IHI framework for improving joy in work (IHI White Paper). Cambridge, MA: Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Retrieved from ovingJoyInWork.pdf