Leadership and mental health nursing

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 2011, 32 (10), pp. 632 - 639
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This discussion paper argues for the critical importance of successful leadership for effective mental health nursing, observing that nursing leadership has long been regarded problematically by the profession. Using empirical and theoretical evidence we debate what leadership styles and strategies are most likely to result in effective, recovery-orientated mental health nursing. Models of transformational and distributed leadership are found to be highly congruent with mental health nursing values, yet the literature suggests it is a type of leadership more often desired than experienced. We note how the scholarly literature tends to ignore the "elephant in the room" that is organizational power, and we question whether transformational leadership pursued within a specific clinical context can influence beyond those confines. Nevertheless it is within these contexts that consumers experience nursing, effective or otherwise, thus we should advocate what is known about effective leadership wherever it is required. © 2011 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc.
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