Developing leadership in nursing: exploring core factors
Elizabeth A. Curtis, Jan de Vries, Fintan K. Sheerin
This article provides an introduction to the issue of nursing leadership, addressing definitions and theories underpinning leadership, factors that enhance leadership in nursing, and the nature of leadership content taught in undergraduate programmes. Highlighted are differences between leadership and management, and the notion that leadership can be ‘learned’. The authors also point out that there is a discrepancy between how leading undergraduate nursing programmes prepare students primarily in the transition of education to practice, and the suggestion from a number of nursing publications that leadership in nurses should be fostered throughout their education. Key words: Nursing leadership n Management n Factors that enhance leadership n Undergraduate programmes  he importance of effective leadership in health care has  been  emphasized  by  a  number  of  authors  (Dunham  and Fisher, 1990; Hewison and Griffiths, 2004; Carney,  2006; Greenfield, 2007; Sutherland  and Dodd, 2008),  and  nursing  leadership  is  pivotal  to  this  as  nurses  represent  the  largest  discipline  in  health  care  (Oliver,  2006;  Marquis  and Huston, 2009; Roussel et al, 2009; Sullivan and Garland,  2010).  Research  on  leadership  has  demonstrated  a  positive  relationship with improved patient safety outcomes (Tregunno  et  al,  2009);  healthy  work  environments  (Shirey,  2009);  job  satisfaction  (Heller  et  al,  2004;  Sellgren  et  al,  2007);  lower  turnover  rates  (Gelinas  and  Bohen,  2000);  and  positive  outcomes  for  organizations,  patients  (Wong  and  Cummings,  2007) and healthcare providers (Cummings et al, 2005).  While  it  can  be  argued  that  there  are  many  challenges  confronting  nurse  leaders  at  the  present  time  (new  roles,  new  technology,  financial  constraints,  greater  emphasis  on  participation,  cultural ...