Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Nursing Best Practice Guidelines

Background

Effective leadership is important in all aspects of nursing — whether that nurse leader is an educator, developing future leaders, a researcher mentoring new researchers, an administrator providing support and guidance to staff, a point-of-care staff nurse providing exemplary care and sharing professional knowledge, or someone who provides direction and support to practice through policy development. Nurses providing leadership at the point-of-care are a critical part of the future of patient care and organizations committed to providing high-quality patient care say the most significant contribution for leaders today is to develop the leadership skills of others to support them to prosper and grow (Hendren, 2010, Kouzes & Posner, 2006). For new graduates, leadership includes learning how to delegate and supervise others. For more experienced nurses, leadership incorporates precepting, mentoring, administrative duties such as scheduling and being in charge, and professional activities such as committee work (Squires, 2004).

The transformational leadership practices found in this second edition of Developing and Sustaining Nursing Leadership are supported by significant empirical evidence, including studies of leadership specific to staff nurses.