Nursing requires strong, consistent and knowledgeable leaders who are visible, inspire others and support professional nursing practice. Leadership plays a pivotal role in the lives of nurses. It is an essential element for quality professional practice environments where nurses can provide quality nursing care. Key attributes of a nurse leader include being an: advocate for quality care, a collaborator, an articulate communicator, a mentor, a risk taker, a role model and a visionary.
The chief executive nurse provides visionary leadership to his/her organization, as well as to the profession of nursing, and must have the authority and resources necessary to ensure nursing standards are met. This linkage between professional practice and the operational activity of the organization leads to a greater involvement in decision-making and fosters collaboration within nursing and interdisciplinary teams. A collaborative approach contributes to quality client-centred care. It involves nurses participating in a common vision for their workplaces and being recognized for their unique contribution.
Leadership is a shared responsibility. Nurses in all domains of practice and at all levels must maximize their leadership potential. With the collective energy of shared leadership, nurses form strong networks and relationships that ultimately result in excellence in nursing practice. To support excellence in professional practice, humanism must be restored to the work environment to help nurses feel safe, respected and valued.
Nurses have the obligation to their clients to demand practice environments that have the organizational and human support allocations necessary for safe, competent and ethical nursing care. Developing and supporting quality professional practice environments is a responsibility shared by practitioners, employers, governments, regulatory bodies, professional associations, educational institutions, unions and the public.
EXTRA’s mission is to teach Canadian health-care executives how to adopt evidence-based solutions in their day-to-day decision-making. For senior…