The nurse executive acts as the “chief” nurse in their organization and is mandated to govern, as well as lead and direct practice. To depict this, the “Framework for Nurse Executive Leadership” organizing framework is encircled by three bands of responsibility: Governance, Leadership and Practice.
In their governance role, the nurse executive assumes responsibility for obtaining and implementing governance and leadership skills and knowledge for effective participation on the board/senior management team. In taking on this responsibility, the executive nurse:
Obtains knowledge of how legislated governance and management requirements impact and support their governance role and responsibilities as well as nursing services.
Communicate clearly the nursing perspective and provide expertise on the nursing practice environment which can enhance the delivery of client care / services.
Communicates, as the nursing expert, about both current and anticipated demands for clinical and program/service requirements.
Advances priority initiatives and accepts accountability for meeting specific targets set by the board/senior management team through monitoring, interpreting and reporting on nursing-sensitive performance indicators and broader organizational indicators.
Exemplary nursing leadership is profiled within the organization, to senior leadership and within the board / senior management team.
In their leadership role, the nurse executive establishes a vision for nursing practice and client care/service that complies with ethical standards and values.
- The nurse executive champions evidence-based, client-centered models of care delivery and nursing practice that are consistent with professional standards as well as the mission, vision values and expected outcomes of the organization.
- The nurse executive fosters opportunities throughout the organization for staff to develop, enhance and profile their nursing leadership skills and contributions, by identifying and leveraging key initiatives that enable enhanced nursing practice and work environment outcomes (ie. becoming a Best Practice Spotlight Organization),.
- Nursing services are consistently evaluated by the nurse executive against evidence-based standards set by the profession, administration, human resources and departmental policies and procedures.
- A Nursing Professional Practice Council is championed by the nurse executive to facilitate professional nursing excellence.
- Effective strategies that promote nursing recruitment and retention, while recognizing excellence in nursing, will also be promoted to foster a healthy work environment that enables better client and societal outcomes.
In their practice role, the nurse executive champions safety, quality care and evidence-based nursing practice while promoting evidence-based models of nursing care delivery and client-centred clinical and management decision-making.
Ensuring consistency of practice with the College of Nurses of Ontario’s standards and relevant best-practice guidelines, the nurse executive develops and supports the Nursing Professional Practice Council to communicate, interpret, and assist in the application of standards, competencies, required organizational practices, and other legislative and regulatory requirements of nurses.
The nurse executive creates, supports and sustains a safe and healthy work environment by promoting and inspiring management practices that support nurses’ health, safety and well-being.
By identifying success measures, and developing reporting mechanisms and metrics, the nurse executive captures the excellence of nursing care, education and research.