Nursing Research, Leadership and the Establishment of a Culture of Safety

            Proper leadership is very important in nursing and in establishing a culture of safety within the profession. Research into appropriate nursing practices and organizational policies and approaches is also essential to provide patients with the care that they need. Medical experts and researchers have to work together to conduct more research in leadership and its effects on the culture of safety to improve the nursing profession (Milstead & Furlong, 2006, p.11).

            Some organizations actually conduct studies on how best to practice nursing. Instead of using guesswork, they adopt a learning approach within the organization to better promote a culture of safety both for the patients and the medical professionals (Roussel & Swansburg, 2008, p.224). Five activities set organizations willing to learn apart from other organizations. First, they employ a systematic problem solving approach. Medical professionals use scientific method and logical analytic tools to gather data. Second, they experiment with fresh approaches while exploring and evaluating new sets of knowledge.

            The third characteristic of learning organizations is that they strive to learn from past experiences by carefully assessing their failures and successes. Lessons learned from their history are gathered systematically to be used for present-day problems. Fourth, they review the best practices of other organizations, and set their organizations’ goals against the best of the best. This technique allows them to be competitive organizations and enables them to gain fresh knowledge and perspectives from colleagues in the field of nursing. Finally, they make sure that new knowledge is transmitted rapidly to all members of the organization so every one is updated to new changes that have to take place and goals that must be pursued.

            Research into nursing practices in an organization helps to expose negative practices that might affect patient safety. A learning organization replaces negative behavior with positive ones to facilitate the establishment of a culture of safety (Huber, 2006, p.640). An ordinary organization typically strictly commands and controls the behavior of medical professionals to maintain the standards of the nursing industry.

            A learning organization is different though as it does not usually give authoritative orders, but instead works with every one involved to identify problems and solve them Roussel & Swansburg, 2008, p.224). The result of this is that every one in the field becomes more at ease with their work and motivated to accomplish an organization’s goals. The role of leadership in a learning organization changes from giving strict orders to cultivating a culture of safety where fresh knowledge is quickly transferred to everyone concerned.

            A culture of safety can be attained through proper nursing research and the application of learning practices in the leadership of an organization. This culture of safety will provide meaning and direction to nurses and other medical professionals and mobilize them to achieve higher goals. The culture of safety is mostly invisible, but it can still be observed by taking note of everyday routines and activities, such as decision-making processes and how rank in the workplace is treated.

            Leadership is important in all areas of an organization. Leaders must establish clear directions to the members, align them with specific and realistic goals and motivate and inspire them to give their best in everything that they do (Roussel & Swansburg, 2008, p.227). Other leadership tasks include strategic budgeting and planning, staffing and organizing, and finally, logical problem solving. Proper management and leadership are required for an organization to succeed and for the establishment of a culture of safety.

            Nursing organizations and leaderships today must conduct more research to improve the quality of care given to patients. It’s not only patients who will benefit from these changes though, but medical professionals themselves. Organizations must have new tools to adapt to the rapidly developing issues of the modern world. With the right leadership to address the needs of patients, the nursing profession will prosper more in the future.


Huber, D. (2006). Leadership and nursing care management. New York: Elsevier Health Sciences.

Milstead, J.A., & Furlong, E. (2006). Handbook of nursing leadership: creative skills for a          culture of safety. Sadbury: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Roussel, L., & Swansburg, R.C. (2008). Management and Leadership for Nurse

Administrators. Sadbury: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

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