CNL. Course 3. Being a Leader

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About This Course

CNL Course 3, Being a Leader, helps nurses recognize how they can demonstrate leadership in their day-to-day work. 

Nurses will learn how to describe characteristics of transformational leaders, recognize myths and misconceptions about leadership, and recognize the differences and similarities between a manager and a leader. Anticipated outcomes include improved understanding of how to develop leadership skills and how to show clinical leadership on the job. 

You will receive an Ontario CLRI certificate for completing this course.

If you complete all three CNL eLearning courses you will earn 1 credit towards your continuing professional development through the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA). To earn your CNA credit and certificate of completion, complete all three CNL eLearning courses then enroll in the Clinical Nursing Leadership eLearning Series Accreditation course to download your certificate.

About the CNL eLearning Series

Nurses have a key role to play to ensure the best quality of life and care for residents and a healthy work environment. Everyday, nurses have to work effectively with a broad range of people across departments and roles, as well as with residents who have high care and support needs. Nurses act as key contacts for families/care partners, work with primary care providers, and engage with hospitals and others in the healthcare system.

This series will enhance the clinical leadership skills of nurses working in long-term care through realistic scenarios and scenario-based practice.

The eLearning series helps nurses navigate conflict, communicate with confidence, and learn how to thrive as clinical leaders in three short courses:


Registered Nurses (RNs) and Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs) working in long-term care, and nursing students.


The CNL eLearning series is now accredited through the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA). The eLearning has been through rigorous quality assessment and has achieved nationwide recognition. If you complete all three CNL eLearning courses, you can earn 1 CNA credit towards your continuing professional development.


We would like to thank the people who contributed to the development and review of content for these courses:

  • Dr. Mary Ann Murray, RN, PhD, CHPCN(c), Professor, Nursing Studies, Algonquin College
  • Susan Ogilvie, RN, MEd, MScN, Professor, Nursing Studies, Algonquin College
  • Michelle Fleming, SSW, BA, Knowledge Broker, Ontario CLRI at Bruyère
  • Jen Plant, MSc, Director of Clinical Practice, Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre
  • Sue Burnell-Jones, RN, A/Manager Personal Care, Peter D Clark Home
  • Joanne Villeux, RN, BScN, Centre d’Acceuil Champlain
  • Susan Wendt, RN, Director of Care, Saint-Louis Residence
  • GEVC Inc.

Conflict of interest statement: The authors have declared to have no conflicts of interest.


The following references were used in the development of the eLearning courses:

Course 1. Communicating Effectively

  • Arnold, E.C., & Boggs, K.U. (2018). Interpersonal relationships: Professional communication skills for nurses. Toronto: Elsevier.
  • College of Nurses of Ontario. (2018). Practice guidelines: Authorizing mechanisms. Retrieved from:
  • Chute, A. (2019). Communication: At the heart of nursing practice. pp. 611. In Gregory, D., Raymond-Seniuk, C., Patrick, L., & Stephen, T. Fundamentals: Perspectives on the art and science of Canadian nursing. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer.
  • Potter, P.A., & Perry, A.G. (2018). Canadian fundamentals of nursing. (6th ed.). Toronto: Elsevier.

Course 2. Handling Conflict with Care

  • Arnold, E.C., & Boggs, K.U. (2018). Interpersonal Relationships: Professional Communication Skills for Nurses. (7th ed.). St. Louis, Missouri: Elsevier.
  • Beebe, S.A., Beebe, S.J., & Ivy, D. (2016). Communication principles for a lifetime (6th ed.)
  • Furlong, G. T. (2010). The conflict resolution toolbox. Models & maps for analyzing, diagnosing, and resolving conflict. Mississauga, Ontario: John Wiley & Sons Canada, Ltd.
  • Lazoritz & Carlson, (2008). In Weiss, S.A., & Tappen, R. M. (2015). Essentials of Nursing Leadership and Management. (7th ed.). Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Company.
  • Pettrey, L. (2003). Who let the dogs out? Managing conflict with courage and skill. Critical Care Nursing, 23, 21-24.
  • Weiss, S.A., & Tappen, R. M. (2015). Essentials of Nursing Leadership and Management. (6th ed.). Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Company.
  • College of Nurses of Ontario (2018). Practice guidelines: Conflict prevention and management. Retrieved from:

Course 3. Being a Leader

  • Atkinson-Smith, M. (2011). Are you a transformational leader? Nursing Management, 44-50.
  • Canadian Nurses Organization, (2019). Developing SMART Learning Goals. Retrieved from:
  • Chu, C. H., Wodchis, W. P., & McGilton, K. S. (2014). Turnover of regulated nurses in long-term care facilities. Journal of Nursing Management, 22, 553-562.
  • Cook, Michael J. "The attributes of effective clinical nurse leaders." Nursing Standard 15.35 (2001)
  • Cummings, G. G., MacGregor, T., Davey, M., Wong, C. A., Lo, E., Muise, M. & Stafford, E. (2018). Leadership styles and outcome patterns for the nursing workforce and work environment: a systematic review. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 85, 19-60.
  • Ellis, K. (2016). Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario: Every Nurse a Leader Workshop. Toronto, ON.
  • Enterkin, J., Robb, E., & McLaren, S. (2013). Clinical leadership for high-quality care: Developing future leaders. Journal of Nursing Management, 21, 202-216.
  • Gottlieb, L. N., Gottlieb, B., & Shamian, J. (2012). Principles of strengths-based nursing leadership for strengths-based nursing care: a new paradigm for nursing and healthcare for the 21st century. Nursing Leadership (Toronto, Ont.), 25(2), 38-50. Retrieved from:
  • Hutchinson, M., & Jackson, D. (2013). Transformational leadership in nursing: Towards a more critical approach. Nursing Inquiry, 20(1), 11-22.
  • Kelly, P., & Crawford, H. (2013). Nursing Leadership and Management. (2ndCanadian ed.).
  • Kelsey, C., & Hayes, S. (2012). A framework for educational leadership. Change Management, 22(8), 16-20.
  • Lacasse, C. (2013). Developing nursing leaders for the future: Achieving competency for transformational leadership. Oncology Nursing Forum, 40(5), 431-433.
  • Lewicki, R., & Bunker, B. (2012). Developing and maintaining trust in work relationships. In Kramer, R.N., Tyler T.R. (Eds.), Trust in organizations: Frontiers in theory and research, pp. 114-139. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • MacPhee, M. (2015). Leading, Managing, and Following. In Yoder-Wise, P. Leading and Managing in Canadian Nursing, pp. 5-22. Toronto: Elsevier.
  • McIntyre, M. & McDonald C. (2018). Realities of Canadian Nursing; Professional, practice, and power issues. (5th ed.). China: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
  • Munir, F., Nielsen, K., Garde, M.H., Albertsen, K., & Carneiro, I.G (2012). Mediating the effects of work–life conflict between transformational leadership and health-care workers job satisfaction and psychological wellbeing. Journal of Nursing Management, 20, 512-521.
  • Rankin, V. (2015). Clinical nurse leader: a role for the 21st century. MedSurg Nursing, 24(3), 199-203.
  • Reem Nassar AL-Dossary (2017). Leadership in Nursing. Retrieved from:
  • Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario, (2013). Developing and sustaining nursing leadership. Best Practice Guideline (2nd ed.).
  • Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario, (2013). Developing and Sustaining Nursing Leadership Best Practice Guidelines. Retrieved from:
  • Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario, (2014). Developing and Sustaining Nursing Leadership: Tips and Tools. Retrieved from:
  • Rodwell, C.M. (1996). An analysis of the concept of empowerment. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 23(2), 215-421.
  • Squires, M., Tourangeau, A., Spence Laschinger, H. K., & Doran, D. (2010). The link between leadership and safety outcomes in hospitals. Journal of Nursing Management, 18, 914-925.
  • Surakka, T. (2008). The nurse manager's work in the hospital environment during the 1990s and 2000s: responsibility, accountability and expertise in nursing leadership. Journal of Nursing Management, 16(5), 525-534.
  • Weberg, D. (2010). Transformational leadership and staff retention: An evidence review with implications for healthcare systems. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 34(3), 246-258.
  • Welford, C. (2002). Matching theory to practice. Nursing Management, 9(4), 7-11.
  • Weiss, S.A., & Tappen, R.M. (2019). Essentials of Nursing Leadership and Management. (7th ed.). Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Company.
  • Yoder-Wise, P.S. (2019). Leading and Managing in Canadian Nursing. (2nded.). Toronto: Elsevier Canada.