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Leadership Competence for Undergraduate Nursing Students: A Concept Analysis

Md. Abdul Latif, Jahura Khatun


Background: Leadership competence in nursing has been extensively addressed in the literature in terms of professional empowerment for nurses that bring a positive change in providing high-quality patient care and workplace safety. However, rarely has it been considered as a set of clear competencies or skills that can be taught and practiced. Objective: The purpose of this study was to provide a concept analysis of leadership competence in the context of clinical nursing leadership. Methods: The concept analysis process of Walker and Avant (2011) was used. A review of the literature was conducted using several databases, including PubMed, CINAHL, ProQuest, Ovid-Medline, ScienceDirect, etc. The databases were searched using the following terms ‘nursing leadership', ‘nursing' & ‘leadership', ‘nurse & ‘leadership', ‘competency', ‘competence', ‘skills', and ‘leadership skills or competence' and for studies published from January 2000 to March 2015. Results: Leadership competence is defined as the knowledge, skills or abilities and behaviors of a leader that contribute to superior performance and, a set of behaviors that describe excellent performance in a particular work context and able to leading change, leading people, results-driven, business acumen and building coalitions or communication and demonstrating by a commitment to collaboration, role modeling behaviors, and by creating a sense of community as a result of mentoring, resolving conflicts effectively and communicating clearly. Defining Attributes of leadership competence include identifying the goals, objectives or targets (visionary thinking); influencing attitudes or behaviors of the team to move forward (group motivation); and focusing the team effectiveness that is directly linked to the group wellbeing and quality of patients care (outcome focus). Antecedents of leadership competence include: personal motivation or willingness, individual differences in thinking and feeling, suspicion about organizational change, self-efficacy or self-confidence about the judgments, and perceive risks and benefits for personal/ organization context. Effective nursing leadership is identified as an important factor to ensure patients' safety and maintain the credibility of nursing. However, there is no standard instrument to measure the leadership competency for nurses in the clinical setting. Conclusion: The findings in this study provide a definite concept of leadership competency in nursing. This concept analysis will also provide a piece of theoretical evidence for the development of nursing leadership competency or skills in nursing.

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