The application of leadership and management principles, theories, and concepts from the nursing perspective is critical in the context of health care delivery systems, organizational change and transition, and quality improvement/risk management. This brief study will explore these three critical issues. The argument will be advanced that nursing plays a key role in ensuring a high quality of health care services in an environment characterized by funding and other resource constraints, rapid technological advances, and a new focus on patient rights.
Huber (2000) contends that nursing leadership in the health care delivery system is an essential element in responding to ongoing needs as well as situational crises. According to Boykin and Schoenhofer (2001), nurse administrators play a key role in articulating the uniqueness of nursing in today's complex, corporatized health care delivery system. Nurse administrators whose viewpoint is grounded in the concept of caring as articulated by Leininger are seen by Boykin and Schoenhofer (2001) as most likely to assist their colleagues, organizations, and patients in maximizing outcomes and resource distributions.
Given that many contemporary health care delivery systems are moving toward integration of delivery systems to realize economies of scope and scale, Pinkerton (1999) argues that such institutions would be well advised to create the position of Chief Nursing Officer (CNO). A CNO would be res