Leadership as part of the nurse consultant role: banging the drum for patient care

Jean McIntosh, Debbie Tolson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


This paper draws upon an evaluation of the first group of Nurse Consultants in Scotland. The evaluation aimed to identify the extent to which they fulfilled the remit of their posts which comprised four core functions. One of these functions was to provide professional leadership and this paper focuses on this element of the role.

Nurse Consultants were introduced in the UK in 2000. Their purpose was to achieve better outcomes for patients and strengthen leadership. Nursing research identifies leadership as a key element of the role, with post-holders adopting transformational leadership approaches. Research from the fields of sociology and psychology identifies difficulties in formulating a coherent theory of leadership, arguing for better understanding of leadership processes.

This papers draws on 31 semi-structured interviews with 4 Nurse Consultants who were interviewed twice over a period of 6 to 9 months and 18 ‘key stakeholders’ who worked with them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-227
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


  • evaluation research
  • leadership
  • nursing
  • nurse consultants


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