Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario

Developing and Sustaining Nursing Leadership

Type of Guideline: 
Healthy Work Environments
Publication date: 
About this Guideline:

This guideline is intended to assist nurses and others performing both formal and informal nursing leadership roles from the point-of-care to the board room, across a variety of practice domains and settings. It identifies evidence-based leadership behaviour that nurses can implement individually and collectively to benefit patients, health-care team members, organizations, systems and health-care policy, research and education. Leadership practices that help create a healthy work environment can ultimately improve patient and client experiences and outcomes.

This best practice guideline has been developed for nurses in a variety of roles, domains of practice and practice settings. It identifies and describes:

  • leadership practices that result in healthy outcomes for patients/clients, organizations and systems;
  • system resources that support effective leadership practices;
  • organizational culture, values and resources that support effective leadership practices;
  • personal resources that support effective leadership practices; and
  • anticipated outcomes of effective nursing leadership.

This guideline addresses:

  • knowledge, competencies and behaviour of effective leaders, in both formal and informal nursing leadership roles;
  • educational requirements and strategies that can be used by formal and informal nursing leaders;
  • policy changes at both the organizational and system levels needed to support and sustain leadership practices, including those at the point-of-care;
  • implementation strategies and tools;
  • evaluation criteria and tools; and
  • future research opportunities.

2nd Edition, 2013

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