Full-Text Friday: Attributes of Clinical Leadership in Nursing

Since I am immersed in all things sustainability, I figured I would share an article that is part of the resource library for an upcoming project. Today’s full-text offering is focused on the characteristics of effective clinical leadership in contemporary nursing. Like so many articles I post for this segment, this is a meta-analysis. The results aren’t particularly surprising, but they underscore the need to cultivate certain attributes in our program managers when we consider common threats to sustainability, such as recruitment and retention issues:

Citation: Contemp Nurse. 2013 Aug;45(1):10-21. Attributes of clinical leadership in contemporary nursing: an integrative review. Mannix J, Wilkes L, Daly J.

Why this article? Because clinical leadership has a direct impact on sustainability–we learned this from the sustainability project.  The ability to recruit and retain nursing staff and create a healthy work environment is in part dependent on the leadership skills of program managers. Cultivating leadership skills needs to be part of the program manager’s experience, but in our field it’s rarely made a priority. This article underscores some of the attributes that can make a positive impact on the clinical work environment, which can ultimately lead to more successful recruitment and retention of forensic healthcare teams.

Key quote: (Emphasis mine)

Clinical leaders who demonstrate clinical competence, possess effective communication and are supportive of colleagues have been linked to building healthy work- places…Studies into characteristics of healthy work environments have identified leadership as being an important component for ensuring healthy workplaces…Those workplaces where clinical leaders lack vision and are resistant to change have been characterised as being unhealthy… Conversely, clinical leaders who lead with integrity and engage positively in the workplace have also been shown to promote wellbeing among staff, particularly in relation to self-confidence and reduced stress levels… (p. 19)


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