Developing ward leadership skills
Intended for healthcare professionals

Developing ward leadership skills

Ali Richards Senior lecturer, Institute of Health, University of Cumbria, Lancaster, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To increase your understanding of a variety of leadership models

  • To recognise the core elements of effective ward leadership

  • To contribute towards revalidation as part of your 35 hours of CPD (UK readers)

  • To contribute towards your professional development and local registration renewal requirements (non-UK readers)

Nurses who are responsible for a clinical area do not only have a management role but also, crucially, a leadership role. The role of ward leader is complex and demanding. Ward leaders are accountable for patient safety and the quality of patient care, act as role models, motivate staff and cascade organisational goals to them. They also ensure the correct skill mix on the ward, alleviate pressures on staff and provide opportunities for staff development. This article describes several leadership models which all have something to offer to nurses looking to develop their ward leadership skills. It discusses core elements of effective ward leadership, notably providing support and direction to the team through coaching and mentoring, developing the ward as a learning environment, understanding the wider care context and taking time for self-care.

Nursing Management. doi: 10.7748/nm.2023.e2043

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software



Conflict of interest

None declared

Richards A (2023) Developing ward leadership skills. Nursing Management. doi: 10.7748/nm.2023.e2043

Published online: 04 April 2023

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