Transforming nursing through knowledge

Professional Development

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 fosters their own professional development as well as the professional development of others in the organization.
  • In their own development, the nurse executive maintains awareness of the ever-changing health care environment and its potential impact on the organization’s mission, vision, values and expected outcomes.
  • The nurse executive assumes confidence and competence in communicating a strategic vision to the board/senior management team while demonstrating a clear commitment to advance excellence and innovation in nursing practice. 
  • Ongoing self-assessment by the nurse executive reflects a commitment to life-long learning and continuous quality improvement, which are key to maintaining optimal effectiveness as a member of the board/senior management team. 
In their leadership role, the nurse executive demonstrates active and visible leadership within the organization by encouraging, supporting and enabling staff to pursue professional development opportunities to enhance skills, develop expertise and advance their roles. The executive nurse leader:
  • Facilitates rewarding and enriching teaching/learning experiences for nursing students by acknowledging staff involvement and recognizing student contributions to care.
  • Assumes responsibility for learning and professional development by seeking mentors as well as requesting and accepting feedback from supervisors and direct reports.
  • Performs ongoing self-assessments to determine their effectiveness as a leader within their organization. 
  • The nurse executive helps shape a culture of professionalism, and professional growth and development through role modeling such behaviors in their own roles.
In this practice role, the nurse executive role models professional development and life-long learning through:
  • Providing mentorship and guidance to staff and facilitate nurses’ access to and use of support, feedback and guidance from superiors, peers and subordinates.
  • Creating a professional learning environment to mobilize and enhance the clinical expertise of staff. 
  • Enhancing the meaningfulness of nursing work by facilitating nurses’ participation in decision-making, while optimizing nurses’ opportunities for autonomy as well as personal and professional growth.