Renowned Speaker for Nursing Conferences 2019 - Susanne Salmela

Title: The Nurse Leaders as Managers of the Caring CulturesĀ“ Ethical Sustainable Foundations

Susanne Salmela

Vaasa Central Hospital, Finland


Susanne Salmela is PhD (Caring Sciences), MLS, Director of Nursing Development at Vaasa Central Hospital. Salmela is responsible for the program of students´ supervision in their clinical study modules at the hospital, in close cooperation with the Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS:s). Salmela is participating in different developmental- and research projects, among other things the national decubitus prevalence study and the Inter-Nordic study of PhD-prepared nurses. Salmela was among other things responsible for, and the chairman of the research project titled “Ethical Sustainable Caring Cultures” in close cooperation with Åbo Akademi University and the UAS's.


Background: Sustainable care is based on economical stable, evidence-based care models, ethics with a respectful and dignified care, and health thinking. Nurse Leaders (NLs) as role models are important in managing and strengthening ethical sustainable caring cultures, but research is not available.
Aim: To identify the foundation of a caring culture, and how the NLs can manage and strengthen the foundation of ethical sustainable caring cultures.
Method: A web-questioner was send to the staff on eight selected units at a hospital in Western Finland in September 2013. The answering percentage was 32 %. Data consisted of standpoints, ranking of values, and two open questions about loadstars and ethical principles in nursing care. Descriptive statistics and inductive content analysis were used for data analysis.
Results: Ethical sustainable caring cultures are nurtured and maintained through the knowledge of the caring culture foundations. Important ethical guidelines and norms were professional competence, common good, alleviate suffering. Loadstars in nursing care were comprised of ethical and professional thinking. Evidence-based care is an important part, but there are differences in the participants’ views of scientific thinking and their openness to research. The majority of the participants (96.7%) emphasize the ethics as a dignified encounter, and everybody have the responsibility to intervene when confronting unethical actions (87.5%). The majority (82.5%) of the participants saw the NL as an ethical role model that manage the caring culture and the staff were considered as shaping the prevailing atmosphere (97.5%).
Conclusion: As managers the NLs are creating contextual, professional and cultural prerequisites in maintaining the core and art of caring through good traditions, and the staff´s ethical and professional competence. A respectful and dignified nursing care that is evidence-based and economically stable constitutes the foundation of good nursing care, the patient safety and sustainability.