Serving and love – Values in ethical nursing leadership

Leena Honkavuo


Background: The significance of ethical and serving nursing leadership is the greatest contributing factors to attain good and quality assured care for patients. Prioritizing an ethical attitude and value base within the different levels of healthcare organizations opens up for well-being among patients, nurses, and nurse leaders. Polarization and many restructurings have changed the value base of healthcare organizations and the nursing culture so that serving and ethical values have been deprioritised rather than reinforced. Objective: To deepen the understanding of serving and ethical nursing leadership and to examine how nurse leaders through their ethos can pave the way toward the evident – the good, the truthful and the beautiful serving in the context of nursing administrations.

Methodology: Qualitative, descriptive and hermeneutic approach with inductive elements. The material consists of deep interviews with six nurse leaders. The hermeneutic reading act and interpretation of the interview texts are inspired by Hans-Georg Gadamer’s philosophical thought.

Result: Ethical leadership that serves the guest of honour of the healthcare organization, the patient, and the caring culture are made visible in the context of nursing administration through “The good, the truthful and the beautiful” timeless movement directed toward health, healing and the meaning of life. Ethos gives to nursing leadership a value base and fundamental attitude, and is linked to the responsibility of nursing administrations, dignity and holiness.

Implications for nursing managementEthical and serving nurse leaders are attractive and legitimate role models for today’s nursing administrations. Nurse leaders’ direct influence, ethos and serving are factors that are closely connected with the ethical climate of the healthcare organization.

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Journal of Hospital Administration

ISSN 1927-6990(Print)   ISSN 1927-7008(Online)

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