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(1999), Hennessy and Hicks (2003) and Sullivan et al., symbolise the efforts in nursing to move away from historical devotion to mainstream theories of leadership and management. The indicative literature on leadership in nursing contains both nursing research utilising non nursing leadership management theory and studies utilising evidence from those in the role to inform nursing leadership knowledge.


Clinical Leadership in Nursing

The search for literature related to clinical leadership uncovered evidence of devotion to non nursing leadership and management theories but, as above, contained evidence of nurse researchers distancing themselves from this attachment. Exploration of clinical leadership in nursing has been generated from various parts of the globe including the United Kingdom (UK), Spain, Singapore, Israel, United States of America (USA), Australia and New Zealand (Oroviogoichoehea, 1996; Cook 2001; Duffield & Franks, 2001; Firth, 2002; Kan, 2002; Connelly, Yoder, & Miner-Williams 2003; Stanley, 2004; Williams, 2004). There were no general differences in the type and focus of research by country. The researchers, employing both qualitative and quantitative approaches, have studied role definition, attributes deemed necessary for effectiveness, the pivotal nature of the role and suggested professional development for the role. Nurse researchers have been made attempts for some time now to define the role.

Defining the Role

McCormack and Hopkins (1995) concede that although the following definition of clinical leadership is inadequate it does speak to the critical elements of clinical work and the nature of authority and influence. He states: “The vision of providing professional nursing leadership by engaging in clinically based work as an expert practitioner-thereby exerting influence, power and authority effectively consistently and constantly within a specific sphere of influence” (p. 162). Research, undertaken some years later, looked at what literature addressed the role specifically as a separate identity of nursing leadership.

Cook (2001), as a prominent author on leadership and nursing, has completed studies that use mainstream theories and completed further work that does not rely as heavily on such


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