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Compassionate nursing leadership: does it exist in practice?

The NHS and other healthcare organisations aspire to compassionate leadership, but workload pressures may make it difficult for managers to implement in reality

The NHS and other healthcare organisations aspire to compassionate leadership, but staffing pressures and hierarchical attitudes may make it difficult for managers to implement in reality

The immense challenges nurses face every day mean teams and individuals crave – and deserve – the understanding and meaningful support of their managers.

But nurse managers are not immune to stressors themselves, especially as they attempt to balance complex competing pressures, such as the imperative of patient safety alongside chronic short-staffing. The tendency of nursing to be hierarchical may also do little to nurture compassionate relationships.

We asked our readers’ panel whether the compassionate leadership that nurses need is an achievable goal, or just a laudable idea.

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