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Place the person you are caring for at the heart of every nursing intervention

A member of Nursing Management's editorial advisory board believes that true leadership comes from how we advocate for nursing, act in practice and encounter others with kindness

A member of Nursing Management's editorial advisory board believes that true leadership comes from how we advocate for nursing, act in practice and encounter others with kindness

Some of the greatest examples of nursing leadership occur in clinical practice every day

Taking on a role of leadership in nursing has been one of the most rewarding and, at times, one of the greatest challenges of my professional career. But while great responsibility comes with a leadership title, true leadership comes from how we advocate for nursing, act in practice and encounter others with kindness.

Each one of us becomes and grows as a leader in nursing when we recognise that we have an opportunity to learn from those we support and to make a difference to those in need.

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A member of Nursing Management's editorial advisory board believes that true leadership comes from how we advocate for nursing, act in practice and encounter others with kindness

Vector image of three human figures with protective hands below them. To mark the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, members of our editorial advisory team reflect on nursing and advice for aspiring leaders. This article is by Barry Quinn.
Picture: iStock

Some of the greatest examples of nursing leadership occur in clinical practice every day

Taking on a role of leadership in nursing has been one of the most rewarding and, at times, one of the greatest challenges of my professional career. But while great responsibility comes with a leadership title, true leadership comes from how we advocate for nursing, act in practice and encounter others with kindness.

Each one of us becomes and grows as a leader in nursing when we recognise that we have an opportunity to learn from those we support and to make a difference to those in need.

Some of the greatest examples of nursing leadership occur in clinical practice every day. The young nursing assistant on a busy ward, for example, who decides to take the time to brush someone’s hair, or the nurse who takes the time to support a frightened patient preparing for treatment or surgery.

Meanwhile, other great nursing leaders act daily at local, regional and national level to advocate for nursing and patient care.

We must allow ourselves to be challenged by differing views of what nursing care is

When Leininger (1984) described caring as the essence of nursing and Brykczynska (1997) suggested that nursing without caring is like nursing without a soul, these two nurses summed up the reality of nursing. That was more than 20 years ago, but I am heartened to hear the same understanding of care in students preparing to join our profession today.

As leaders we need to be courageous and kind, allowing ourselves to be challenged by the differing views of what nursing care is while finding support from those who share a common vision.

In this, the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, it would be wonderful if we could recognise our own leadership and continue to focus our practice on the principle of care, at the foundation of our profession. We can do this by placing the person for whom we are caring at the heart of every nursing intervention.

Read more on celebrating nursing leadership


Barry Quinn, @barryquinn2019, is a senior lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast and Nursing Management consultant editor

 

 


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