Florence Nightingale Leadership in Nursing Nursing has never been simple profession and it is not an easy task to quantify the contributions nurses have made in shaping healthcare. Modern nursing is complex, ever changing and multi focused; requiring nurses to evolve personally and professionally as leaders in healthcare. What is leadership? Leadership is defined by what it is, as much as what it is not. Leadership has nothing to do with titles, age, seniority, education or status, but rather associated with the characteristics that define a leader. Per Forbes Magazine (April, 2013) “Leadership is a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal. An effective leader must inspire the group to follow in their lead, to guide them to accomplish a mutual goal.” Florence Nightingale, the innovative leader and pioneer of modern nursing, is the person I selected as the leader I most admire and one who continues to inspire me to continue to grow professionally.
Nightingale, who lived from 1820-1910 was a visionary, healer, reformer, environmentalist, feminist, practitioner, scientist, politician and global citizen. Her achievements are astounding considering the Victorian era, and the submissive role of women in her time. Her contributions to nursing theory, research, statistics, public health, and health care reform are invaluable and inspirational. Florence Nightingale demonstrated the characteristics of leadership such as, mission conscious, tenacity, solution oriented and commitment by her ability to establish nursing as professional practice, separate from medicine, while practicing in a male dominated world. Secondly, she was intentional and focused in her efforts as an advocate for the advancement of nursing into leadership positions and not one of just servitude, by fostering an environment of continued education and training for...
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