|dc.description.abstract||The nurse qualified in the area of administration occupies a position with immense scope and potential in the profession and in society.
The task of senior nursing management is a matter of balancing and reconciling the values and aims of the organisation with the values, aims and professional aspirations of the nursing staff, and of related and interdependent groups of health professionals, while creating and gaining commitment to a wider concept of the service and of the nurses role in it. The balancing and reconciling of organisational, occupational, service and educational demands with individual aspirations and expectations are delicate but essential if all available resources are to be optimally deployed. Success in the latter marks out an effective manager though it is difficult to measure this success. I believe this many sided accomplishment is vital, for surely all philosophy, education and research within nursing is valid ultimately only in its actual application to clinical practice. Professional nurses, fulfilling various degrees of administrative functions, are to be found in all areas and levels of nursing. It is upon the role of the upper echelons of Nurse Administrators (Matrons) in large, general teaching hospitals that this thesis will be focused. Acceptance of nurse leadership and thus of nurses occupying the most senior administrative posts (in nursing) generally has been the norm in South Africa. Unfortunately, this approach is not universal. In some countries such posts are held by physicians or other non-nurses. In others, nurses hold the title but do not wield the power. According to Searle this has arisen because •••• role change to meet contemporary political, socio-economic and health care strategies has not kept pace with the changing demands and activities of the Health Care system2 ••••thus leaving nurses in such cases in historically limited rather than contemporary relevant roles. The discussion and appraisal of nurse leadership has resulted in various national and international bodies affirming the importance of the development of such leadership in ·order to ensure the continuing role of nurses in administration. The World Health Organisation has, in numerous documents, emphasised the need for nurse leadership3, and, together with the International labour Organisation (1977) and the International Council of Nurses, published a statement on conditions of work and life of nursing personnel. Recommendation 1Q states •••• There should be programmes of higher nursing education to prepare nursing personnel for the highest responsibilities in direct and supportive nursing care, in the administration of nursing services, in nursing education and in research and development of the field of nursing 4||en_US