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Service & Evolving leadership in the University, Community and Profession

An Overview of Evolving Nursing leadership

Nurses’ perspectives of health and health care emerge from the unique proximity to and understanding of the human person and human caring. The art and science of nursing is practiced across the health care spectrum, taught within academia, and advanced within the profession. Nurses have an incredible capacity to adapt. This capacity to adapt, applied to areas of evolving leadership, has potential to effect wide-reaching change. The following is a brief overview of the current state of nursing leadership in multiple realms.

The Evolution of Nursing Leadership
The IOM report The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health (2010) provided directives for transforming the profession of nursing, and consequently health care in the United States. With the advent of the IOM report came empowerment and permission for nurses to progress into greater leadership roles than had been aspired to in the past. Nurses were given a charge to lead, and to work toward transforming itself as a profession and thus transforming healthcare.

Building Influence – Leading Change through Service within the Community and Profession
In response to the IOM report (2010), The Campaign for Action (2011) was born, which was the result of a partnership between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), with the goal of advancing nursing leadership at multiple levels and across the nation. One initiative from the Call to Action, Nurses on Boards Coalition (NOBC), aspired to place 10,000 nurses on boards by the year 2020.
In addition to serving on boards, nurses can be influential by serving within governmental agencies, public and private health care organizations, and professional associations and societies. Change can also occur through networks and working groups. Examples of such are initiatives are the NICE Network, the QSEN Project, and the TIGER Initiative.

The Value of Nursing   
The IOM report (2010) provided support for change and recommendations for empowering nursing’s growth and development in strategic leadership. In addition, advances are being made toward substantiating the value of nursing through measuring nurse sensitive indicators.
For example, The Nursing Value Workgroup (NVW), formed from the ‘Big Data’ science initiative in 2014 (Jenkins, Garcia, Farm-Franks, Choromanski, Welton, 2018). Nursing thought leaders from academia, practice, and industry are involved in the workgroup. The goal of the initiative is to create a mechanism to warehouse data from multiple and disparate sources for use in nursing values research to examine costs, effectiveness, and quality of nursing care.

Driving Change through Collaboration and Leadership in Academia
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has emphasized the distinct and multifaceted contribution of nursing in transforming care through education, practice, community engagement, professional involvement, and service (2018). Translational research, community based participatory research, and implementation and improvement science are emerging as important areas to improve health care. Doctorally prepared nurses have unique knowledge and skills to conduct research in these areas. Collaboration between DNP prepared nurses (who understand key organizational and implementation science elements) and PhD prepared nurses (who understand the knowledge generation aspects of research) will be vital to move translation of knowledge from bench to bedside more quickly. Making the IOM Future of Nursing (2010) recommendations a reality will require the collaborative effort of DNP and PhD working together, as well as with other disciplines and key stakeholders to create a health care system marked by safe, quality, patient-centered, accessible, and affordable care for all people.


American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2018d). Defining scholarship for academic nursing: Task force consensus position statement. Retrieved from
Campaign for Action. About us. 2011.
Institute of Medicine. (2010). The future of nursing: Leading change, advancing health. Retrieved from
Jenkins, P., Garcia, A., Farm-Franks, D., Choromanski, L., & Welton, J. M. (2018). Academic/Practice/Industry Collaboration to Develop Nursing Value Research Data Warehouse Governance. Nursing Economics, 5, 207. Retrieved from, S., & Morgan, S. (2018). NICE Network: Nurses leading change in infection prevention. American Nurse Today, 13(7), 29. Retrieved from
The TIGER Initiative Foundation. (2014) The Leadership Imperative: TIGER’s Recommendations for Integrating Technology to Transform Practice and Education. Retrieved from
Trautman, D. E., Idzik, S., Hammersla, M., & Rosseter, R. (2018). Advancing Scholarship through Translational Research: The Role of PhD and DNP Prepared Nurses. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 23(2), 1.

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