Share your experiences as a nurse leader to shape future care
Before COVID-19, austerity and failures in care imposed huge pressures on directors of nursing, but their unique perspective is essential to overcome challenges
The nursing profession is facing some of its greatest challenges. After providing society with highly skilled care during the pandemic, the effects of the demands made on nurses are becoming more noticeable, leading to global staffing shortages.
The positive impact of nursing leadership strategies on the profession’s response to COVID-19 have been significant, yet more recently we have seen the media portrayal of nurses shift from angels and heroes to disrupters.
In the UK, nursing has demonstrated activity and agency through its union leaders, as nurses look for adequate staffing, fair pay, patient safety and workforce planning. This has resulted in unprecedented industrial action.
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Three years after the pandemic began, we expected its challenges to be reduced, but the profession still needs clear and effective leadership.
Nurse managers have a unique perspective on leadership and decision-making
Understanding this from the perspective of directors of nursing (DoNs) is important. Evidence from before the pandemic shows that austerity and failures in care imposed pressure on DoNs, but having experienced safety-critical events, executive-level nurses have a unique perspective on leadership and decision-making that can inform future nursing strategies.
However, nurses may not have time for reflection and risk missing this opportunity to learn while being distracted by the ongoing dispute. With all the upheaval and challenges facing the profession, we must learn from our most recent history to build visible and effective support for the nursing workforce.
Researchers at Cardiff University are recruiting participants to explore the experiences of executive DoNs in the wake of COVID-19, identifying priorities and actions for recovery and future learning from the pandemic. I hope you can join them. For more information and to participate, contact me by email me or via Twitter, or visit my Cardiff University web page.
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