Nurses working in clinical settings, especially in small communities, are often placed in leadership positions without the benefit of post-basic education.  More than six million Canadians live in rural and remote areas receiving care from more than 46,000 registered nurses (Macleod et al, Human Resources for Health, 2017). Canadian nurses working in rural and remote areas have a broad range of responsibilities and work in a broad range of settings (Macleod et al, Canadian Nurse, 2019), but these nurses may find it challenging to access the formal learning that would help them develop as leaders.


We developed this course for two reasons: 1) to create a micro-credential in nursing leadership that was accessible to all nurses and especially to nurses living in rural and remote communities, and 2) to create a bridging strategy for those nurses interested in, but not ready or requiring further credentials, to embark on a master’s degree such as the Trent-Ontario Tech MScN (Professional Practice Leadership) program.  


This self-paced, graduate-level, online course is comprised of 12 modules covering a wide range of topics of particular interest to nurses who wish to develop knowledge about leadership in the clinical practice setting. Topics include change management, quality improvement, legal and ethical issues, communication, health informatics, conflict management, budgeting, recruitment and staff selection, staff development, risk management and career development.


The nurse who completes this course will develop and enhance their knowledge of the science (management) and art (leadership) of leadership. By engaging with the course material and participating in reflective exercises, the nurse will begin to understand how to apply this knowledge to their practice and develop a sense of self as leader.


We hope you enjoy this course and learn as much from it as we did during its development.

At the completion of the 12 course modules learners will be able to:

  1. Integrate concepts of leadership, management, and communication in the role of nurse leader and manager
  2. Apply leadership, management, and change management theories to their nursing practice
  3. Analyze outcomes and quality of nursing care by using appropriate evaluation methods
  4. Describe the importance of nursing informatics and healthcare technology and their impact on nursing practice, education, and research
  5. Explain conflict resolution, negotiation, and collaborative care teams and their impact on patient care quality
  6. Identify organizational variables that impact professional nurse practice, including the evaluation of patient care and delivery systems
  7. Develop a basic understanding of budgeting in the context of a clinical practice unit
  8. Analyze the role of the nurse manager in effectively staffing for the delivery of patient care
  9. Establish how to strategically approach performance management and people development to build and foster productive and cohesive teams
  10. Assess their own current leadership abilities and roles.


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Leadership for Nurses in Clinical Settings Copyright © 2022 by Dr. Kirsten Woodend, Dr. Catherine Thibeault, Dr. Manon Lemonde, Dr. Janet McCabe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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