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Nursing leadership in Ireland: experiences and obstacles

Nursing leadership in Ireland: experiences and obstacles This paper aims to investigate nurses’ experiences of leadership within health care in the Republic of Ireland.Design/methodology/approachThis mainly qualitative study made use of a mail survey sent to a random national selection of registered nurses. Participants were asked to provide narrative descriptors of good nursing leadership and identify obstacles to such leadership.FindingsParticipants mainly provided examples of nursing leadership within a hierarchical context (concentrated leadership), such as meeting organisational goals and decision-making. While elements of distributed leadership were mentioned (good communication, providing help and support), they were mainly described as part of formal management roles, rather than leadership. Observed obstacles to developing nursing leadership included high workload, lack of support from management and peers, limited opportunities to gain experience, lack of education/training and poor work environments.Research limitations/implicationsThe small sample (n = 72) limits generalisation. A wider interdisciplinary effort to address experiences with nursing leadership in Ireland may be needed to inform health services of the issues from a broader perspective.Practical implicationsThe findings suggest that development of nursing leadership in Ireland may still be in its infancy, and that several obstacles need to be overcome.Originality/valueVery few studies have addressed narratives from nurses regarding personal experiences with nursing leadership. The examples provided by participants have yielded significant insight into the issues they encounter, which are reflective of health care elsewhere. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Leadership in Health Services Emerald Publishing

Nursing leadership in Ireland: experiences and obstacles

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1751-1879
DOI
10.1108/lhs-11-2017-0068
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper aims to investigate nurses’ experiences of leadership within health care in the Republic of Ireland.Design/methodology/approachThis mainly qualitative study made use of a mail survey sent to a random national selection of registered nurses. Participants were asked to provide narrative descriptors of good nursing leadership and identify obstacles to such leadership.FindingsParticipants mainly provided examples of nursing leadership within a hierarchical context (concentrated leadership), such as meeting organisational goals and decision-making. While elements of distributed leadership were mentioned (good communication, providing help and support), they were mainly described as part of formal management roles, rather than leadership. Observed obstacles to developing nursing leadership included high workload, lack of support from management and peers, limited opportunities to gain experience, lack of education/training and poor work environments.Research limitations/implicationsThe small sample (n = 72) limits generalisation. A wider interdisciplinary effort to address experiences with nursing leadership in Ireland may be needed to inform health services of the issues from a broader perspective.Practical implicationsThe findings suggest that development of nursing leadership in Ireland may still be in its infancy, and that several obstacles need to be overcome.Originality/valueVery few studies have addressed narratives from nurses regarding personal experiences with nursing leadership. The examples provided by participants have yielded significant insight into the issues they encounter, which are reflective of health care elsewhere.

Journal

Leadership in Health ServicesEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 12, 2019

Keywords: Leadership; Distributed leadership; Leadership skills; Climate for promoting leadership; Leadership/management dichotomy; Nursing leadership

References