Postgraduate nurses’ insights into the nursing leadership role. Do they intuitively link the role to patient safety?

Joyce Hendricks, Vicki Cope, Gwendolyn Baum


Nursing leaders are compelled to ensure a safety and quality agenda in the acute care environment as patient outcomes are linked to nursing care. Good nursing leadership where focus is directed to accountability and responsibility for clinical outcomes and patient safety, results in reduced adverse events and patient mortality. Integral to the future of high-quality effective clinical care with an absence of errors is the training of the next generation of nursing leaders. In this discussion paper, the extent to which future nurse leaders intuitively acknowledge patient safety as part of their leadership role was examined amongst a cohort of postgraduate nursing students. A content analysis to search for quality and safety terminology was conducted on 146 essay responses to a question about the nurse leader role in today’s healthcare environment. The results indicated minimal acknowledgement of patient safety as an intuitive consideration in the nursing leadership role. Recommendations are discussed for developing postgraduate nursing educational curricula with patient safety strategies as a central component to the practice of leadership.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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