Nurse leaders improving care and driving change

Related Resources

Nurses deliver palliative care in a wide range of settings, from homes and residential aged care facilities to hospitals and hospices. They make up the largest component of the palliative care workforce.

This role is becoming increasingly important with the growing demand for palliative care in parallel with population ageing.

In Australia, there are several guiding documents which inform the elements of quality palliative care nursing:

Each recognise the importance of nurse leadership.

Nurse leaders can:

  • improve care by embedding evidence-based practice, being involved in research, driving innovation or policy change.
  • mentor less-experienced nurses
  • provide opportunities for education or training
  • foster nursing or interdisciplinary collaboration
  • facilitate leadership development of other team members
  • take a representative or advocacy role.

These leadership skills can positively influence the quality of care delivered at all levels and across settings.

The Australian College of Nursing Institute of Leadership supports nurses at all career stages to extend their leadership skills with a range of leadership development opportunities. 

Nurse leadership

Video from Australian College of Nursing

This information was drawn from the following resources:


  1. Australian College of Nursing (ACN). Achieving quality palliative care for all: Theessential role of nurses - A White Paper by ACN 2019 (422kb pdf). Canberra: ACN; 2019.
  2. Cheluvappa R, Selvendran S. Palliative Care Nursing in Australia and the Role of the Registered Nurse in Palliative Care. Nurs Rep. 2022 Aug 12;12(3):589-596. doi: 10.3390/nursrep12030058.
  3. Dahlin C, Coyne P, Goldberg J, Vaughan L. Palliative Care Leadership. J Palliat Care. 2018 Aug 16:825859718791427. doi: 10.1177/0825859718791427. Epub ahead of print.
  4. Scully NJ. Leadership in nursing: The importance of recognising inherent values andattributes to secure a positive future for the profession. Collegian. 2015;22(4):439-44. doi: 10.1016/j.colegn.2014.09.004.

Page updated 20 May 2024