7 Things to Learn About Leadership While Studying Nursing Courses in Canada

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Leadership is a set of certain skills and capabilities embodied by a person who uses these abilities to create a vision while engaging others to share that vision. Leadership is counted as an expected attribute for all nurses and is taught as a prerequisite during nursing courses in Canada. The nursing role is dependent on leadership in many ways. The professionals who take up the administrative roles in healthcare settings are known as formal leaders, while the ones in clinical roles such as advanced practice nurses are called clinical leaders.

Regardless of the nature of leadership roles played by these nursing professionals, the attributes that are associated with leading as a nurse are common. What a clinical nurse has to manage might be different from the role managed by an administrative leader, but the qualities that are needed to pull off both these roles will be most likely similar.

Students who take up the nursing courses in Canada are extensively taught that nursing leadership is about critical thinking, process-oriented action, and advocacy. Nursing leadership plays a significant role in the lives of nurses while leaving an impact on the entire health care system of Canada.

For this reason, the healthcare system of Canada is always in a steady need for energetic, ambitious, and visionary nursing professionals who can become effective nursing leaders. The Canadian government is always on the look-out for training students to become credible, strong, confident, and motivating with a firm authority to support the modern, innovative, and professional nursing practice.

The students who enroll in the nursing courses in Canada have a great chance at inculcating and building on leadership qualities that can take them far in their careers. In this blog, we will have a look at 7 things to learn about leadership while studying a nursing course in Canada.

If you’re a student who aspires to study nursing in Canada, then keeping these qualities in mind will enable you to build on your leadership tenets.

1. Nursing leadership is practiced continuously: The fundamental tenet to understand the concept of nursing leadership is that it begins with the education of a nurse while studying nursing courses in Canada and continues throughout the career of every nurse.  Educators, from academics to the clinical nurses and personal mentors inculcate the expectation that all nurses can and should be leaders.

Nursing students are mentored in a way that they not only see nursing as a series of acts demanding scientific caring aimed at changing an individual’s life but as a lifelong commitment to uplifting the nursing profession.

In essence, leadership starts when the students are imbued with the true meaning of ethical nursing practice and it continues all through one’s career because nurses are the connecting link of healthcare from one individual to an entire population of a region, country and then the world.

Nursing leadership is about the competent nursing practice that offers the best care while thinking critically, assertively, and independently. Hence, while studying a nursing course in Canada, students can expect to learn the evidence-based professional practice, appropriate delegation, patient and community advocacy, complying with the legal scope, and pushing boundaries to innovate new levels.

2. Nursing leadership is research-oriented: Nursing leadership is learning to become nurses who conduct and use research to devise conclusions. Additionally, it is also about asking the right kind of questions and seeking visionary solutions that can shape successful public policy.

From the beginning, nurses are encouraged to combine science with a deep understanding of population health needs, nursing education, and practice needed for envisioning a new future and taking the nursing discipline forward.

While studying a nursing course in Canada, students must learn how to mentor the junior researchers while linking the nursing practice with leaders who work for shaping the public policy outcomes.

At the end of the day, all nurses must realize that the nature of work required and expected by them needs a great amount of maturity, empathy, skills, and knowledge. When nurses learn to take pride in their work, they will be able to take their profession forward by making policies that will eventually benefit the healthcare system in general.

3. Nursing leadership is about policymaking: During the duration of nursing courses in Canada, nurses are trained to develop, analyze, and interpret policies. This further leads them to work with the knowledge of human health, regulatory system, and health economics needed for further development.

Getting acquainted with and understanding all these matters helps in useful and reliable development of regulatory frameworks and various health care public policies. Moreover, it also teaches the students about innovative and visionary administrators from the first level to the most senior nurse executives.

With this knowledge, nursing leaders understand and hold themselves accountable for creating a practice setting in which safe, timely, high quality, and accessible nursing care can be delivered. This benefits both Canadian citizens and nursing professionals. Where the general public benefits from the high-quality care provided by nurses, the nursing professionals also maximize their ability to deliver the best care.

4. Nursing leadership is needed across all healthcare domains: Canadian nurses in all positions are required to develop and exert a level of leadership. From an enthusiastic student who has just started taking up nursing courses in Canada to a competent professional clinician, a team member, a senior executive, a new researcher, and the most revered nursing educator, all of them are required to lead in their own capacities.

In addition, regardless of the domain of nursing that might be in question, everyone benefits when responsibilities are shared. Essentially, the patients, teams, systems, and organizations, everyone benefits when nurses in all the domains of practice maximize their leadership potential. With the collective energy of shared leadership, the nurses can form reliable networks and relationships that contribute to offer high-quality nursing practice.

5. Nursing leadership is an independent skillset: Nursing leaders at almost every level and position are required to develop organization and management skills. Irrespective of whether they are managing human resources, time, material, policies, fiscal matters, they require a certain level of leadership capabilities.

The nursing administrators at every level are required to hone strong leadership skills that make them an effective administrator. By exerting good management skills, nurses can become leaders who are able to manage everything effectively.

6. Nursing leadership determines the working environment:  Nursing leadership makes for a very strong determinant of the professional work environment across all healthcare systems, wherever the nurse’s practice. In order to encourage professional practice and help nurses feel safe, valued, and cared for, their leadership qualities must come into play.

While studying nursing courses in Canada, nurses are taught to have an ethical obligation of providing compassionate, safe, competent and ethical nursing care because it governs the working environment. The clinical administrators and leaders are in charge of creating and maintaining the kind of practice environment that benefits all people who receive health care services and the ones who provide them.

Although these responsibilities must collectively be shared by the practitioners, government bodies, professional associations, unions, etc., nurses must themselves be mindful of this as well. This will make the nurses conscious of their role as a healthcare provider.

7. Nursing leadership involves mentoring: Leadership in nursing involves mentoring, supporting, teaching, and attracting nursing talent at all levels. Nursing leadership is not something that happens by itself; rather it is sustained with a concentrated effort and ongoing support.

Students pursuing nursing courses in Canada must think of nursing leadership as something that evolves from a combination of innate and inculcated skills. Where some of the skills are inherent, the ones that are inculcated can be groomed. Nurse leaders are required to pay particular attention to the needs of patients and their fellow nurses.

The senior leaders are in charge of succession planning. In almost all domains of practice, a mechanism must be put in place to attract the youth so that new ideas and vibrant energy can be put into the nursing profession. Since the nurse leaders at the most senior executive levels are at the decision making tables within their organizations, they are liable to take important decisions.

Creating a safe, innovative, and functional practice setting is linked with decision making done by the nurse executives. The decisions taken by the senior nurses also decide the course of high-quality care practice implementation.


Nursing leaders are the foundation on which healthcare organizations rely. This is why nurses are prepared to become effective leaders right from the time they enroll for a nursing course in Canada. Besides formal education and training, which are important for nursing education, nurses are also encouraged towards the development of appropriate attitudes through social learning.

Nurses who are aspiring to shape a successful career must understand the importance of leadership required in the nursing profession. The seven things mentioned will help in learning and understanding leadership in just the right way.


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