Understanding leadership for newly qualified nurses
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Understanding leadership for newly qualified nurses

Lucy Kirkham Course Leader for Nursing, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To understand how leadership applies to your practice

  • To appreciate the differences between management and leadership

  • To familiarise yourself with the various leadership styles

Becoming a newly qualified nurse can be a daunting prospect and leadership may appear to be a quality that only experienced nurses and managers should be concerned with. However, leadership is a requirement for all registered nurses and inquiries into cases of suboptimal care have often identified inadequate leadership as a major contributor. In the past, leadership was defined as an innate characteristic or trait, but over time concepts of leadership have evolved and it is now recognised as a set of skills and behaviours. There are many different leadership styles, qualities and behaviours, but these should not be confused with the role of management. It is important for newly qualified nurses to develop their leadership skills using tools such as preceptorship, reflection and continuous professional development.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2020.e11589

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

Kirkham L (2020) Understanding leadership for newly qualified nurses. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2020.e11589

Published online: 24 November 2020

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