Leading a Multicultural Work Environment: Reflections on the Next Frontier of Nurse Leadership

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Abstract

Nurses face the challenge of leading in a diverse society. Is the cross section of present-day nurse leaders prepared to meet the needs of patients and a work environment represented by a broader range of social backgrounds, cultural traditions, and languages? Fundamental to leaders' ability to meet diverse needs is a new framework for understanding the meaning of leadership, in which the issue of diversity is paramount. This article explores how the word leadership expresses a more complex system, when responsibility to address human needs is emphasized, and care for multilingual and multiethnic patients by a diverse, committed work environment is a focus. Under the umbrella of diversity, the necessary knowledge to create such a work environment may lack depth or may even be absent.

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