Leadership In Clinical Practice


The concept of clinical leadership suggests that clinical leaders are experts in their field because they are approachable and responsible for managing communication in the practice of nursing (Williamson and et. al., 2015). They are also empowered to act as a role model that manages all the aspects of nursing. Thus, in this respect the present research study has been describing the concept of clinical leadership in nursing and how it enhances the value of nursing and health care. From general point of view, it is analysed that effective clinical leadership leads to innovation, innovation leads to change and that change brings improvements which is essential in terms of enhancing service level, quality and professionalism. Thus, in this respect the study has been describing the role of clinical leaders in clinical developments, change and innovation.

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Clinical leadership innovation and action

Clinical leaders are termed as health professional that are placed in the health care entities for the purpose of leading change in practice and they also suggest innovations that generally has a positive impact on clinical quality (Whitley and et. al., 2015). Innovation is bringing something new in terms of changes which has some value and utility. In this regard, clinical leaders were considered to adopt a congruent leadership approach. Clinical leaders emphasize on innovation by developing new solutions and by putting their vision or values into action.

Clinical leaders also display the role of congruent leadership which is placed at the heart of supporting clinical innovation and change (Clinical leadership and innovation. 2012). Clinical leaders are also given much importance in the organizations as that enhances the value of future investment. Therefore, it is clear that good clinical leadership is essential for optimal patient care and with the changing scenario, it also enhances the requirements of health care sector. Henceforth, to justify the statement, several articles are being used here (Storey and Holti, 2013).

Authors Topic and Objectives Methodology Findings and Outcomes
Edward D Nicol, Kay Mohanna and Jennu Cowpe (2014) The study was conducted with the perspectives on clinical leadership: a qualitative study exploring the views of senior healthcare leaders in the UK. In this study, clinician are asked to play major roles in NHS. The main aim of the study was to capture the views of senior UK health care leaders regarding their perception about clinical leadership. Twenty senior healthcare leaders who were former health ministers, NHS executives and medial directors. They were interviewed through using a semi- structured interview technique (Nicol, Mohanna and Cowpe, 2014). Further grounded theory was also used so as to identify the themes. After, conducting the study, it is ascertained that clinical leadership is regarded as a doctor centric leadership which is also more inclusive. The focus of the authors were laid on history, culture and changing attitudes towards health leadership which were also useful in terms of managing health aspects in the best possible manner (Nicol, Mohanna and Cowpe, 2014).
John Stanley (2012) The study was carried out on clinical leadership and innovation and which also defines the role of leadership with that to innovation. In the study, discussion has been included regarded impact of clinical leadership on service delivery procedure. Different case studies were utilized for the purpose of finding out the role of clinical leaders in changing level of innovation in health care practices. Health care professionals were interviewed so that they can give their opinion regarding importance of clinical leadership. The findings of the research work clearly states that clinical leaders play most prominent role in encouraging the value of service provision through bringing new practices and services.
Daly J, Jackson D, Mannix J, Davidson PM, Hutchinson M (2014) The research work was carried out with an aim to ascertain the importance of clinical leadership in the hospital setting. The study was based on secondary analysis which explored organizational wrongdoings in the hospitals and along with that, the study has also highlighted the nature of ineffectual leadership in the clinical environment (Jackson and, 2014). Thus, the study focused on analysing clinical nurse leader responses for the purpose of raising the concern of nurses (Jackson and, 2014). In terms of outcomes, it is ascertained that effective leadership is associated with optimal hospital performance; hence in such respect the research work has focused on range of hospital functions which states the aspects of health care system. Afterwards, completing the study, it is analysed that clinical leadership increases and improves the quality; hence this holds greater importance in clinical setting (Jackson and, 2014).
David Stanley (2012) The study was conducted for the purpose of stating clinical leadership characteristics and how changing attributes enhances the chances of innovation. In the research study, two studies were used with identical questionnaire; however both the studies were based on different countries (Stanley, 2011). The initial study was larger and focused more than describing clinical leader attributes. However, this was the principle focus of the studies. On the basis of findings, it has been analysed from both the studies that similar results are identified (Stanley, 2011). The research findings shows greater similarity in the practice of clinical governance. Thus, the study also states that vision and creativity holds less importance as a clinical leader characteristic.
John Storey and Richard Holti (2013) (Possibilities and Pitfalls for Clinical Leadership in Improving Service Quality, Innovation and Productivity). The study was conducted for the purpose of ascertaining how effective clinical leaders initiate and lead service improvements. Further, the study also focuses on how service- level clinical leaders in acute and primary care develop and implement service quality improvements. The approach of case study has been used in the research work so as to analyze the importance of clinical leadership in service improvements (Storey and Holti, 2013). The researcher has also interviewed 74 informants across 4 cases that includes hospital consultants, junior doctors, nurses, other clinicians, managers and commissioners. Further, the interview were also conducted with a series of observations of meetings and service contexts.

On the basis of results, the main findings state that clinical leadership was found to occur at multiple levels and it also denotes that clinicians’ aid in shaping national policy context. Further it is also identified that clinical leaders are capable of being open to new ideas and new knowledge which aids them to facilitate more improvements in the service aspects (Storey and Holti, 2013).

In order to support the above mentioned studies, it can be said that effective clinical leadership is associated with various functions and it also needs to include health reform objectives so as to manage functions of health care in effectual way. For instance- hospitals are very costly because of size, complexity and also due to overall functional aspects of health care system. Thus, in such respect it is essential for the clinicians to focus on clinical leadership so that all such aspects can aid in enhancing the quality of healthcare services (Leading Clinicians and Clinicians Leading. 2013). This can be termed as overall improvement in health care services through adopting the approach of clinical leadership. However, despite the recognition of the importance of effective clinical leadership, there are various barriers as well which affects participation in clinical leadership. Clinical leadership requires broader clinician engagement so that the value of service dimension can be enhanced. Similarly, in this context organizational citizenship behaviour is defined as a work related behaviour that contributes in effective functioning of the organization.

On the basis of generalized terms, the concept of leadership means to get the work done through different people. In this domain, leadership in the clinical environment is getting more imperative especially in the development of clinician led services. Most definitions of leadership include a focus on shared goal, dependence on other’s actions to reach towards that goal and management aspects (Clinical leadership and innovation. 2012). From theoretical viewpoint, leader create conditions that encourage others to achieve the shared goal through collective action. Thus, local leaders must have to identify care goals that also unify diverse multidisciplinary teams and at the same time they align these with patient’s health goals. This is highly essential in terms of enhancing the value of service delivery procedure and changing the perspective of clinical leadership.

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Thus, on the basis of entire study, it can be said that leadership is an imperative aspect to nursing and it is also displayed across a various settings that comprises practice environment, management, education and research. From the entire research procedure, it is being identified that clinical leadership supports nurses and health care practitioners as they strive to develop clinical leadership skills that also enhances the value of clinical excellence. Therefore, it can be said that clinical leaders need to be supportive, confident and approachable so that to they can reach towards the goal of the health care services.


  • Clinical leadership and innovation. 2012. [Online]. Available through: <>. [Accessed on 10th April].
  • Jackson, J. D and, 2014. The importance of clinical leadership in the hospital setting. [Online]. Available through: <>. [Accessed on 10th April].
  • Leading Clinicians and Clinicians Leading. 2013. [Online]. Available through: <>. [Accessed on 10th April].
  • Nicol, D. E., Mohanna,K. and Cowpe, J., 2014. Perspectives on clinical leadership: a qualitative study exploring the views of senior healthcare leaders in the UK. J R Soc Med. 107(7). pp.277–286.
  • Stanley, J., 2011. Clinical leadership and innovation. [Pdf]. Available through: <>. [Accessed on 10th April].
  • Storey, J. and Holti, R., 2013. Possibilities and Pitfalls for Clinical Leadership in Improving Service Quality, Innovation and Productivity. [Pdf]. Available through: <>. [Accessed on 10th April].
  • Whitley, R. and et. al., 2015. Implementing the illness management and recovery program in community mental health settings: facilitators and barriers.Psychiatric Services.
  • Williamson, K.M. and et. al., 2015. Utilization of evidence-based practice knowledge, attitude, and skill of clinical nurses in the planning of professional development programming.Journal for nurses in professional development. 31(2). pp.73-80.
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