Nursing Leadership, Missing Questions, and the Elephant(s) in the Room: Problematizing the Discourse on Nursing Leadership

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To expose inconsistencies and contradictions in the nurse leadership literature (“text”), this article adopts a deconstructive approach and draws upon the work of Derrida in examining the text or discourse. What is almost entirely missing in the literature are articles that ask difficult, searching questions that challenge some of the taken-for-granted truths or maxims about nursing leadership. The current examination of the literature, described in this article, shows: (a) a lack of convergence of the literature and health care/nursing organizations concerning leadership, (b) a conflation of nursing leadership with managerial or administrative positions, and (c) a possible lack of understanding about the complexity of nursing leadership coupled with an unwillingness to raise these issues.


To acquire a personal use copy of this work, contact John Cutcliffe at john.cutcliffe@wright.edu.