KASH for Nurses: The Currency of Nursing Leadership


Published: 08 June 2016

Using the KASH model for success, we can create a guide for the development of our own professional nurse leadership skills to add greater value to our position.

In countries like the USA and the UK, the position of Clinical Nurse Leader is well established (ACN 2017). These positions are filled by nurses who have completed a Masters of Nursing. They are experts in their field and possess the leadership skills required to be able to improve patient outcomes by influencing and inspiring others to deliver the best care they can.

The expectation is that nurses who hold these positions have the skills to lead others. While we don’t have Clinical Nurse Leadership positions in Australia yet, we should still be aware of the importance of leadership skill development.

According to Wong and Cummings (2007), Clinical Nurse Leadership affects the workplace in the following three very important ways:

  1. They improve patient care outcomes. Patients report a more positive experience.
  2. The emotional and psychological welfare of nurses improves. The nurses report higher levels of happiness and job satisfaction.
  3. The organisation improves its bottom line. Happier staff means less sick leave is taken and there is less staff turnover, as well as improved accountability and responsibility to use resources more efficiently.

Below is the KASH model. It is intended for use as an indication of why businesses succeed or fail. The model has been adapted to relate to leadership success in nursing. There are four quadrants that highlight different areas of development:









Clinician: Nurses become experts in their field when they develop the left side of the KASH box Leader: Nurses become leaders of others when they develop the right side of the KASH box


This is the sum of everything we learn through both formal and informal education. We acquire our knowledge, theoretical and practical, over the span of our career. We expend our energy, time and money to learn, internalise and deliver on the things we need to know, to perform our roles with proficiency and expertise.


Our attitude is everyone’s window to how we think about our world. People glean from our attitude our commitment to our job, how we feel about the organisation we work for, what we think and feel about our colleagues and how invested we are in providing the best care that we can for our patients.


Our skills are the practical tools we apply our knowledge with. We build on our skills by learning from others and becoming experts through repetition.


Our habits are our behaviours. Leaders reflect the values of their organisation. Leaders use emotional intelligence to create behaviour that will get them the most desirable outcome for themselves and others.


Having knowledge and skills makes you a clinician. Adding the right attitude and habits will allow you to become a leader.

nurse leadership