Leadership & Professional Development

Leadership and Professional Development: Taking Time for Support

Marlene Z. Cohen

Katherine Brown-Saltzman

Marilyn Shirk

professional development, leadership, self care, psychosocial support, caring, nurses

Balancing compassionate care and self-care is a serious challenge for nurses. The need to understand patients’ perspectives and nursepatient relationships has been central to nursing since Nightingale’s work (1969). Peplau (1952) was among the early nursing leaders to note that nurses cannot meet patients’ needs if their own needs are not met. Gilligan (1982) wrote about women’s moral development, the value of connectedness to others, and self-sacrifice, which she refers to as the historical hallmark of adult femininity. Nurses, as professionals ethically committed to promoting the well-being of others, face the challenge of achieving moral maturity by being true to a value of compassionate care that includes treating oneself compassionately.

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