Define “political competence” and discuss at least one example of how a nurse leader has or could demonstrate political competence at the local, state or national level. The example may be from an organizational perspective or a political challenge.


Political competence refers to the skills, values, and perspectives required for effective and efficient political involvement in the nursing profession. It could also be considered as the ability for the political individual to understand when to take action, what one can and cannot control as well as who one needs to push their agenda and goals forward (JD, 2016). Additionally, competency helps the individual to determine and anticipate who may be resistant to the proposed change and how to handle them (Bacharach, 2017). It is about understanding the political terrain and leading coalitions that encourage people to support and engage in the agendas. Therefore, political competency is a crucial requirement for successful leadership in any organization.


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A nurse leader requires political competence to lead and run an efficient healthcare facility. An instance in which political competency applies is during the allocation of funds to the different departments in the locality. All departments may be in need of funding to do things such as raising the workers’ salaries or buying new equipment to make the department and facility more appealing to the public they intend to serve. Getting to decide on which department gets the funding is a difficult decision for any leader, since it may result in riots and strikes should some of the departments feel excluded or think that other sections are more favored.

Political competency allows the nurse leader to identify any departments and individuals who may be resistant to any decision made. The leader also makes sure that they can encourage and motivate the rest of their workers even if they do not get their needs met due to the limitations in the budget. Therefore, forming a coalition and understanding between him and the workers aimed at bettering the condition and service levels of the organization.


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