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The nexus of nursing leadership and a culture of safer patient care

Murray, M., Sundin, D. and Cope, V.ORCID: 0000-0002-4528-4268 (2017) The nexus of nursing leadership and a culture of safer patient care. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 27 (5-6). pp. 1287-1293.

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Aims and objectives

To explore the connection between +6 nursing leadership and enhanced patient safety.


Critical reports from the Institute of Medicine in 1999 and Francis QC report of 2013 indicate that healthcare organisations, inclusive of nursing leadership, were remiss or inconsistent in fostering a culture of safety. The factors required to foster organisational safety culture include supportive leadership, effective communication, an orientation programme and ongoing training, appropriate staffing, open communication regarding errors, compliance to policy and procedure, and environmental safety and security. As nurses have the highest patient interaction, and leadership is discernible at all levels of nursing, nurse leaders are the nexus to influencing organisational culture towards safer practices.


The position of this article was to explore the need to form a nexus between safety culture and leadership for the provision of safe care.


Safety is crucial in health care for patient safety and patient outcomes. A culture of safety has been exposed as a major influence on patient safety practices, heavily influenced by leadership behaviours. The relationship between leadership and safety plays a pivotal role in creating positive safety outcomes for patient care. A safe culture is one nurtured by effective leadership.

Relevance to practice

Patient safety is the responsibility of all healthcare workers, from the highest executive to the bedside nurse, thus effective leadership throughout all levels is essential in engaging staff to provide high quality care for the best possible patient outcomes.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Health Professions
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Inc.
Copyright: © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
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