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Clinical Leadership and Innovation Essay

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Updated: Apr 2nd, 2022


This paper is a sentence outline of a journal article dwelling on clinical leadership and innovation. In a nutshell, the article maintains that innovation results from effective clinical leadership. Innovation brings about change. On the other hand, change improves care, service quality and professionalism. Nonetheless, this cannot happen if the nursing leadership fails to understand and identify clinical leaders. Surprisingly, these leaders must also recognize their potential. In doing so, genuine innovation and change are supported and fostered.

Clinical Leadership and Innovation

Thesis Statement: People who are ready to lead and put their ideas into action through positive innovation and effective change bring about improvements in the quality of care and services in the nursing sector. In other words, leaders play a critical role in clinical changes and development.

  1. This article provides an insight into the relationship between clinical leadership and innovation. Accordingly, unrivalled clinical leadership contributes to genuine innovation. However, some changes are not helpful to the nursing sector
    1. Change that is poorly planned or half-baked is not good for an organization. All changes must have a purpose.
    2. Important change is directed by clinical leaders or individuals with innovative concepts. As a result, the quality of services and general care are improved.
    3. An intelligent quote by Jesse Jackson states that change does not come from alterations in processes or structures, but from courageous people who are ready to work. If the healthcare sector is to flourish, spirited individuals must be identified to lead it.
  1. Defining clinical leadership.
    1. In the article, Stanley reiterates that “clinical leaders are the health professionals best placed to lead change in practice and suggest innovations that impact positively on clinical quality.”
  1. Citing Baker et al., Cook, Alleyne and Jumaa, Wong and Cummings, Sirola-Karvinen and Harkäs, Murphy et al. and Stanley, this article reiterates that a courageous clinical leader is a person who uses a congruent approach to leadership. In this regard, the leader commands respect due to his values and actions.
  2. To change an organization’s culture, focus must be shifted from dormant leaders to people who can generate an influence. It is on the record that cultural change has a greater impact on an organization than modifying structures or changing systems.
  3. Innovation and change is fostered by clinical leaders and healthcare professionals who respond to patient’s and service needs in a timely manner.
    1. Other non-clinical leaders have an influence on the quality of care and services. These are leaders in the educational, political and other managerial spheres. Nursing staffs hardly visualize them as clinical leaders, but most of them care about this sector.
    2. A number of attributes dictate whether a clinical leader will perform his mandate effectively or not. Some of these attributes include ability to foster organization culture, team management and conflict resolution skills and ease in establishing management structures.
  1. Innovation

Innovation is said to occur when an organization is assured of a better future. This occurs due to planned change. Innovation leads to sustainable alterations that have some efficacy and worth.

    1. Clinical leaders associate themselves with innovation by employing three tactics:
  1. Generating solutions
  2. Putting values and visions into use.
  3. Acting as role models
    1. A number of attitudes are used by clinical leaders to foster a relationship with change:
  1. Resistance: Destroys possibilities and sabotages change.
  2. Coping: Aids a leader to iron out problems and overcome hurdles related to change.
  3. Responding: The ability to act or being responsible.
  4. Choosing: Taking on change and coming to terms with greater possibilities.
  5. Bringing forth: Generating solutions to problems.
  6. Mastery: Leading from the front or being guided by actions and not utterances.
    1. A number of factors hinder innovation in an organization:
  1. Lack of insight.
  2. Failure to apply critical thinking.
  3. Lack of staff support.
  4. Networking skills that are wanting.
  5. Delegating duties in a poor manner.
  6. The notion that nursing is of a lower status than other clinical professions.
  7. Bureaucratic tendencies in an organization.
  8. Preventing people from putting their talents into good use.
  9. Lack of enough role models.
  10. Poor conflict resolution mechanisms.
  11. Poor organization culture.
  12. Failure to prioritize issues that are most pressing or important.


It is important for a healthcare organization to identify its clinical leaders. In addition, these leaders must be facilitated and supported in utilizing their leadership potential as a way of promoting change and innovation in the nursing profession. Citing Stanley (2006), this article states that only 50% of nominated clinical leaders see themselves as leaders. For that reason, it can be concluded that a good number of clinical leaders do not believe in themselves. This further derails development in the healthcare sector. Finally, innovation and change is not about structures or processes, but personal courage. Innovation leads to change. Change, on the other hand, culminates into development. Clinical leaders must, hence, be people who are ready to use their profession to improve the quality of healthcare services and patients’ care.


Stanley, D. J. (2012). Clinical leadership and innovation. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, 2(2), 119-126. Web.

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