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Free papers 13–15 – Workforce development
An investigation into leadership in nursing and children's nursing within children's palliative care
  1. Elizabeth Lewington and
  2. Jessie May
  1. Bristol


Leadership within Children's Nursing (Myers 2005), has been acknowledged as a high ‘priority within health and social care’, organisations and services, (Bennett 2004 p 28). This priority was re-enforced by two very important inquiry reports, namely The Inquiry into the Management of Care of Children Receiving Complex Heart Surgery at the Bristol Royal Infirmary, Kennedy (2001) and The Victoria Climbie Inquiry Report, Laming (2003). There has been technical advances in medical treatment, and the nursing care for sick children, Winter and Tear (2002), and this has lead to the development of children's and young people's palliative care services. These developments have influenced the expansion of specialist charitable organisations providing children's palliative services within the UK. A review of current literature on leadership in nursing, children's nursing and children's community nursing concluded that nurses present numerous leadership traits and styles. During this literature review only several articles presented research in nursing leadership. As a result of this need for research within nursing leadership and also within Children's Palliative Care Services the aim of this research study was to investigate leadership in Nursing within Children's Hospice Services, and to answer the question: – ‘How do senior nurses working within Children’s Hospices construct the meaning of leadership within their working role'? This qualitative study used a data collection narrative of story telling. This was compiled by recorded interviews using a theoretical sample recruited from the national organisation of Children's Hospices UK, (Silverman 2010, Searle et al 2004). The results from this investigation showed that the Senior Nurses presented numerous numbers of leadership styles and traits with the majority presenting the most frequently used leadership style of being commanding. However there was no consensus demonstrated in leadership traits, the results showed, that being positive, supportive and influential were all important.

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