Leadership skills for the multi-tiered nursing team
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Leadership skills for the multi-tiered nursing team

Ali Richards Senior lecturer and programme lead, assistant practitioner programme, Institute of Health, University of Cumbria, Lancaster, England

Why you should read this article
  • To enhance your knowledge of the roles of nursing associate and assistant practitioner

  • To reflect on the leadership skills needed by various members of the multi-tiered nursing team

  • To improve your understanding of relational leadership styles, in particular compassionate leadership

In a challenging global healthcare climate, new workforce models are required to address the ongoing shortfall in the number of nurses. One way of addressing the workforce crisis in the NHS has been to introduce the roles of nursing associate and assistant practitioner, which are designed to support registered healthcare professionals in their work and ‘bridge the gap’ between registered professionals and support workers. This article examines the leadership skills required of nurses when seeking to embed these roles in practice, and the leadership skills assistant practitioners and nursing associates themselves need to take their place in the team. The author also discusses the need for nurses to adopt a relational leadership style, hone their delegation skills and foster a climate of psychological safety for their assistant practitioner and nursing associate colleagues.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2023.e12202

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) Leadership skills for the multi-tiered nursing team. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2023.e12202

Published online: 27 November 2023

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