National Health Service in the United Kingdom. This pivotal nature links to organisational objectives which includes change.
Kan’s (2002) New Zealand research concerns itself with understanding the process by which nurse leaders function when leading their nurses through such organisational change. One of the recurring themes that emerged through her exploration was that nurse leaders had great potential to achieve change in the health care environment and due to factors both internal (cultural) and external (societal), this potential was often repressed. Williams (2004), also from a New Zealand perspective, utilised a hermeneutic phenomenological approach to explore the experiences of four Charge Nurses with the view of interpreting their experiences of being new to the role of Charge Nurse. Her conclusions included recommendations to recognise the complexity of the role, to prepare and support those in the role and for organisations to value the Charge Nurses’ contribution. Both the Marquis et al. (2003) text and research acknowledge that a clinical leader’s ability to cope or interpret change for the sake of those they lead is a marker of effectiveness (Cook, 2001; Connelly et al., 2003; Stanley, 2004). Whilst texts and research have examined the attributes and pivotal nature of the role, the professional development necessary for the role has been also explored.
Gould, Kelly, Goldstone and Maidwell (2001) in a United Kingdom-based research project interviewed 15 Clinical Nurse Managers and posted a survey derived from results of these interviews to a further 182 Clinical Nurse Managers. The survey results indicated that the nurse managers felt clinically confident but lacked certainty in their ability to deal with human resource and budget related issues. Gould et al. concluded that this evidence could inform future professional development of the role. Marquis et al. (2003) delineate what areas of managing or leading should be developed for the future. Energy needs to be expended on the development of enabling, which is allowing nurse leaders or managers to become coaches or mentors. Clinical supervision can be utilised following preliminary education, allowing nurse leaders to operate more effectively, whilst encompassing the necessities of their organisations (Johns, 2003). The research by Johns did note, however,