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According to a definition cited by Stanley (2005, p.108), a clinical leader is a leader who holds quantifiable medical and scientific skills, knowledge and proficiency in nursing practice and one who employs the use of interpersonal proficiency to facilitate provision of quality care by nurses and other care providers. There are also other factors that are used in explicating nursing leadership. Further explication by Stanley (2005, p.109) asserts that excellence in clinical practice coupled with provision of a conducive or positive environment that empowers nurses are fundamental elements of nursing leadership. Another definition of nursing leadership asserts that a nurse leader is "A nurse directly involved in providing clinical care that continuously improves care through influencing others" (Stanley, 2005, p.109). In extrapolation, this definition of a nurse leader shows that it is not a prerequisite for nurse leaders to be higher-ranking officials in nursing practice. In other words, a nurse can be a leader despite the position held.
There are a number of leadership theories that in essence categorises leadership. One of these theories is denoted by Curtis, Vries and Sheerin (2011, p.307) to include trait theory. This theory focus primarily on individual characteristics that facilitate leadership. The second theory is referred to as the behaviour approach that expounds leadership in a leaders viewpoint and in fact spotlights on leadership behaviours (Curtis, Vries and Sheerin, 2011, p.307). The third theory is the contingency approach that views leadership in the context of the interface and communication between a leader, existing circumstances and his or her actions (Curtis, Vries and Sheerin, 2011, p.307). Fourthly is the transformational theory that spotlights on the association or connection between a leader and his or her employees (Curtis, Vries and Sheerin, 2011, p.307). Though all the leadership theories and styles
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