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Those involved in the health care system—nurses, physicians, patients, and others—play increasingly interdependent roles.
Problems arise every day that do not have easy or singular solutions.
Yet their history as a profession dominated by females can make it easier for policy makers, other health professionals, and the public to view nurses as “functional doers”—those who carry out the instructions of others—rather than “thoughtful strategists”—those who are informed decision makers and whose independent actions are based on education, evidence, and experience.
A 2009 Gallup poll of more than 1,500 national opinion leaders, “Nursing Leadership from Bedside to Boardroom: Opinion Leaders’ Perceptions,” identified nurses as “one of the most trusted sources of health information” (see Box 5-1) (RWJF, 2010a).
The chapter then issues a call for new partnerships to tap the full potential of nurses to serve as leaders in the health care system.