haycock-stuart e. & kean s. (2012) Journal of Nursing Management 20, 372–381
Does nursing leadership affect the quality of care in the community setting?
Aim To examine perceptions about how nursing leadership affects quality of care in the community setting.
Background Quality care is considered an essential component of nursing work and recent policy has emphasized the role of leadership in meeting the quality agenda. As shifting the balance of nursing care from the hospital to the community occurs in the UK, there is an imperative to confirm more effectively the quality of care that patients and families receive from nurses working in the community.
Methods A qualitative study involving community nurse leaders (n = 12) and community nurses (n = 27) in semi-structured individual interviews (n = 31) and three focus groups (n = 13).
Results Tensions exist between ‘leading’ for quality care and ‘delivering’ for quality care. Organisational decision making is challenged by limited measures of quality of care in the diverse roles of community nursing.
Conclusions Frontline community nurses and nurse leaders need to articulate how they intend quality of nursing care to be appreciated and actively indicate ways to show this.
Implications for nursing management Mechanisms to monitor patient safety, a key aspect of the policy agenda for quality care and other technical aspects of care are important for nurse leaders to develop with frontline community nurses.