Purpose: Rural nurse leaders on a global scale are being challenged to create structures and processes to enable excellence in nursing care. The purpose of this scoping review is to offer an indication of the available literature relating to contemporary issues in rural nursing leadership. A review of contemporary issues facing rural nurse leaders is timely to assist strategy development that will achieve the goal of excellence in nursing.
Organizing Construct: An interpretative scoping literature review methodological framework has been used with an emphasis on thematic construction.
Method: Literature published between 2008 and 2012 was reviewed from five electronic databases using the key words rural, nursing, and leadership.
Findings: Four themes have been identified: expectations of rural nursing leadership, a highly educated workforce, competing interests, and partnering within rural healthcare systems.
Conclusions: The content may resonate with rural nurse leaders and encourage a greater awareness of their relevance to leadership practices.
Clinical Relevance: The findings provide a greater awareness and understanding of contemporary issues facing rural nurse leaders and may assist with the development of context-sensitive leadership strategies to facilitate excellence in nursing care.