Acknowledging and Enabling Point-of-Care Leadership: A Key to Clinical Nursing Excellence

Friday, 25 July 2014: 3:50 PM

Irmajean Bajnok, RN, MSN, PhD
International Affairs and Best Practice Guidelines Programs, Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario, Toronto, ON, Canada
Debra A. Bournes, BScN, MSc, PhD
Health Human Resources Strategy Division, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Ontario, Canada, Toronto, ON, Canada

Point-of-care nurses who have opportunities to engage in and be acknowledged for their leadership behaviours find it a source of inspiration, motivation, and  confidence building.  Leadership at the point of care is related to leadership behaviours that are informal rather than related to a formal leadership role.  Point-of-care nurses regularly engage in leadership behaviours related to their direct clinical work where they make clinical decisions, consult with other team members and plan and carry out nursing treatment plans.  In addition, many point-of-care nurses, because of their expert clinical knowledge, are involved in leading clinical change, quality improvement, evaluation or research initiatives as part of their clinical care roles.    

A regional collaborative of nursing leaders has taken on the challenge of raising awareness of the impact of point- of- care leadership on clinical excellence, evidence based nursing practice, and nursing retention.  The collaborative has established an initiative to widely disseminate the emerging evidence of  the impact on organizations, nurses and practice when point of care leadership is enabled, expected and acknowledged.    A common understanding of the concept has been developed, along with key strategies to support and foster this way of being in point- of- care practitioners.   Key leadership behavious form part of the framework of point-of care-leadership and include: build relationships and trust, contribute to an empowering work environment, contribute to an environment that supports knowledge integration, lead, support and sustain change, balance complexities and lead self.  

Key target groups to influence related to point-of-care leadership include: front line/point of care nurses, nurse managers, executive leaders, other health care professionals, faculty, and students,  researchers and health care organizations.  The next steps for the collaborative involve sharing key messages with target groups and assisting them to acknowledge and enable point of care leadership.  The presentation will reinforce the critical importance of spotlighting and fostering point-of-care leadership as a key driver of evidence based nursing practice, and the primacy of the practice domain of nursing.