Nursing Leadership for Surgical Excellence

Building leadership skills in perioperative nurses for safer surgical patient care

Nurses play a critical role in patient care before, during, and after surgery. In low-resource settings however, nurses often lack access to high quality training, engagement in leadership roles, and quality improvement initiatives. This can contribute to poor quality surgical care in many low-resource settings.

A Lifebox survey conducted with perioperative nurses and surgical teams highlighted that nurses want to be more confident and competent in the areas of leadership, research, communication and advocacy. 

The Lifebox Nursing Leadership for Surgical Excellence (NLSE) program is a pilot project to improve perioperative nursing care processes and practices, and patient outcomes in low- and middle-income countries through perioperative nursing fellowships.

“Doctors cannot operate without a nurse. Anesthetists cannot intubate without assistance from a nurse. Cleaners cannot ensure that the hospital is clean and infection free without the guidance of nurses. After a surgeon or the anesthetist is done [in the operating room], they will leave the care of the patient to the nurse. Even before surgery, preparation for the patients is handled by the nurse. Nursing is the core foundation when it comes to health.”
Belinda Karimi, Nurse Fellow, Nursing Leadership for Surgical Excellence Program, Lifebox

The NLSE pilot is taking place in three hospitals in Ethiopia – Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital, St. Paul’s Hospital Millennium Medical College, and St. Peter’s Specialized Hospital – and in Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Malawi. The NLSE program is being implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Health and professional associations of both countries.

The NLSE Fellowships offer evidence-based training programs and mentorship. The NLSE Fellows initiative a process mapping exercise to identify existing problems in their surgical ward, operating room, and post anesthesia care unit (PACU) and  develop a quality improvement proposal to address the identified gaps. 

The NLSE program aims to increase the skills and capacity of nurses working in the perioperative area to effectively lead, manage, and execute quality improvement initiatives, ultimately ensuring patient safety.

Contact us if you are interested in learning more about the Lifebox NLSE program.

NLSE Fellows working on their assignments

"I see a lack of communication and collaboration among doctors and nurses and this impacts patients. I believe Lifebox’s NLSE program will start closing those gaps. The project indicates the importance of ensuring patient safety by all - cleaners, laundry staff, nurses, and physicians . All have to team up to ensure this. Most importantly nurses are advocates for patients.”
Sr. Asselefech Negewo, Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital, Nursing and Midwifery Service Directorate Director, Ethiopia

OR Manager, Lorba Tulay, using the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist during surgery at C.B. Dunbar Hospital in Gbarnga, Liberia ©Lifebox/Ahmed Jallanzo

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