Nurse Leaders and the Ethos of Serving in Nursing Administration


Publication date


Series/Report no

International Journal of Caring Sciences;Volume 11 Issue 3


Professor Despina Sapountzi-Krepia

Document type


Background. Serving is a phenomenon that has received only scant attention in caring science. Indirect conceptions about service are tied to concrete clinical work and actions of caring while serving gives nursing leadership and nursing administration a natural meaning context. Serving as a genuine caring science concept is complicated to articulate through empirical and pragmatic caring science research. Serving patients has in all times informed the theoretical, practical and aesthetic functions of caring. Aim. To describe the understanding of serving and ethos in nursing leadership with a focus on nursing administration. Methods. A qualitative interpretative deep interview study was conducted among 15 nurse leaders from a nursing administration context base. Gadamer´s hermeneutical thinking was used for to interpret the findings. Results. Nursing leadership which serves the patient is made visible through the acuity of the mind, the actions of the hand and the wisdom of the heart. This timeless serving is directed toward health and healing. The results are tied in four thematic units of understanding: The understanding of serving as an integrated ethos, serving as public ethos ‒ to see beyond the self, serving that describes opposites and emotions and the understanding of the bureaucracy of healthcare organizations as controlling serving in nursing administrations. Conclusions. Serving is the basic idea in nursing administrations. Serving as an ethical and societal duty involves infinite dignity, equality and respect for the essence of human beings. Nursing administrations primary aim is to serve health and life, and to alleviate suffering. The ethical responsibility of healthcare organizations is to serve as societal examples or models, accommodate the service nursing administrations provide, and act in the service of patients. Serving in nursing leadership entails a constant movement, a listening, a corresponding address and actions performed for the well-being of the patient.




Permanent URL (for citation purposes)