Strategies for Conflict Resolution in Nursing Careers

Resolving Conflict in Nursing Careers. Nurse Holding Xray
Resolving Conflict in Nursing Careers. Nurse Holding Xray

Nurses are always solving problems, whether it is working in healthcare teams to achieve diagnoses or making their patients feel more comfortable in their care. At the same time, Carson-Newman’s online nursing program faculty, including those of the newly-created online Master of Science in Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN-FNP) program, realize that nurses must sometimes resolve interpersonal conflict with their colleagues and fellow staff members. This blogpost takes a look at how conflict resolution in nursing can be helped with this expertly designed nursing degree that develops strengths to yield the skills for professional success and solving conflict.

Conflict Resolution in Nursing; How Conflict is Cultivated

Workplace conflict begins whenever there is a clash of individual outlooks. These unique perspectives can range from the more objective, such as individual needs required for wellbeing in the workplace, to more subjective aspects, such as personal values or deep-seated emotions. These differences might not be apparent or may seem inconsequential when a working relationship begins. Over time, though, these small disagreements can bubble up into larger conflicts that impact working relationships and the overall healthcare office workflow, which makes it essential that basic conflict resolution skills are mastered. Here are three tips to keep in mind when faced with conflict resolution in nursing.

Tip One: Conflict Clarification

One of the best ways to begin de-escalating a workplace conflict is to understand how it arose in the first place. When employees end up in conflict with one another, often heated emotions can lead to skewed perceptions of what actually happened. It can be beneficial for the mediator to meet with all parties involved and seek all of the necessary background information that might have contributed to the conflict. By bringing these colleagues together, the mediator can garner all the necessary information while ensuring all parties feel their case is being considered fairly.

A desire to understand the bigger picture is one of the core pillars of Carson-Newman’s online MSN-FNP program. Faculty and their coursework aim to encourage students to consider their patients holistically, taking into consideration all of the factors that are impacting care. Graduates can also extend such holistic consideration to larger healthcare systems in an effort to improve the patient experience and their health outcomes, and these same skills can also be helpful when attempting to resolve colleague’s differences.

Tip Two: Essential Resolution Techniques Training

Another way to facilitate positive colleague relations is for healthcare facilities to offer nursing teams specialized training for conflict resolution in nursing. Such sessions can help to establish a baseline of understanding among healthcare staff, and it can also help nurses develop the skills to resolve frequent conflicts on their own. Such resourcefulness can be essential, as there will undoubtedly be times when nurses will need to resolve differences without the aid of an expanded administrative or supervisory team.

For the Carson-Newman online MSN-FNP student, such training is already part of their curricular journey. One of this new program’s central desired outcomes is to cultivate graduates deeply steeped in crucial leadership and decision-making skills. The goal of encouraging such a skill set is to ensure that Carson-Newman MSN-FNP graduates can acknowledge individual health scenarios and make decisions accordingly, and these same skills can prove pivotal in the resolution of conflicts in the workplace.

Tip Three: Hone Hiring Practices

Building a team of nursing and healthcare professionals with conflict mitigation in mind can also help to minimize conflict and, when it arises, resolve it efficiently. Hiring healthcare managers with proven skills related to conflict resolution in nursing, for example, can create an atmosphere of open discussion. At the same time, the process of hiring new nurses or other healthcare staff can include a consideration of how they will fit within the organization’s landscape. Questions regarding past conflict resolution experience or managerial preferences can help hiring managers assess what the expectations and alignment of a new potential staff member might be in the landscape of a larger healthcare organization.

In addition to the development of key skill sets for patient care and collegial relations that can aide at times of conflict, Carson-Newman’s MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner degree also aims to build in its students the moral foundations of the Christian faith. These principles, which can encourage ethical engagement and the desire to learn and collaborate effectively with colleagues, can make Carson-Newman graduates a natural fit among a dynamic range of healthcare practices.

Define Your Nursing Career with Carson-Newman’s Online MSN-FNP

Carson-Newman’s online MSN-FNP strives to provide students with an outstanding preparation for a dynamic career in nursing. The program also comes with flexibility, not only in its online format but also with its space for self-discovery. Enrolling in Carson-Newman’s online family nurse practitioner program online program means having the chance to explore your motivations and strengths to refine our career path and make the most difference in the healthcare industry. Whether it is resolving conflict in nursing or improving patient care, your future revolutionizing healthcare can finally come into focus with Carson-Newman’s online MSN-FNP degree program.


Erica Bettencourt, “Conflict Resolution in Nursing.” DiversityNursing Blog, 20 October 2017. Accessed 12 March 2018 from: