Nursing Leadership

Nursing Leadership 31(2) June 2018 : 20-31.doi:10.12927/cjnl.2018.25606
Special Focus on Nursing Leadership and Quality Improvement

Attributes and Actions Required to Advance Quality and Safety in Hospitals: Insights from Nurse Executives

Lianne Jeffs, G. Ross Baker, Ru Taggar, Pam Hubley, Joy Richards, Jane Merkley, Judy Shearer, Hailey Webster, Melissa Dizon and Jessie Ho Fong


To lead effectively within their organizations, nurse executives must possess quality and safety literacy and be able to engage and motivate clinicians to participate in safety and quality initiatives. Given the paucity of research in Canada, a study was undertaken to explore nurse executives' understanding of the key concepts and strategies associated with patient safety and quality improvement, and their engagement with patient safety and quality improvement in their hospitals and healthcare systems. This study used an exploratory qualitative design with a content analysis approach on 20 nurse executives working in hospitals in Ontario. Three key themes emerged from the narrative data set including: (1) being a strategic and system thinker while possessing the emotional intelligence to influence staff; (2) building credibility and relationships with point-of-care staff, board of directors, and leadership team and (3) creating a culture of safety and high reliability. Study findings can be useful in informing future learning opportunities for nurse executives and nurses leaders at all levels to enhance their quality and safety literacy.



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