1st International Nursing Leadership Conference Communique

Communique of 1st International Nursing Leadership Conference hosted by LeadNurse Africa International Foundation at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), April 23rd_ 27th, 2018.



The 1st International Nursing Leadership Conference was successfully hosted by LeadNurse Africa International Foundation at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) from April 23rd to April 27th, 2018. The leadership conference was themed “Transformational Leadership: Developing Nurses’ Capacity towards the Achievement of Sustainable Development Goals in Africa”.



The 5 day conference had in attendance 500 attendees across the globe including Ghana, Australia, Swaziland, Rwanda, and Zimbabwe amongst others including the host country, Nigeria. Present at the conference were professors, registrars of Nursing and Midwifery Councils in Africa, directors of nursing services, private nurse practitioners, nursing officers, military nurses and other representatives from different universities, institutions and hospitals.

The welcome address was given by the Director of Nursing services Lagos state, Mrs Shonibare Dorcas. Professors Oluyinka Adejumo and Omolola Irinoye presided over the technical sessions and panel discussions while the Vice Chancellor of University of Rwanda, Professor Phillip Cotton delivered a well-articulated keynote address.

The conference proper was preceded by a 2 day pre-conference and working sessions as a build up towards the main conference and all key discussions were centred on transformational leadership.

The pre-conference sessions were handled and moderated by Professor Omolola Irinoye and Professor Oluyinka Adejumo.


The leadership framework and capacity of any organization are very core to the successful achievement of strategic and operational goals and objectives. Nurses play a pivotal role in the healthcare system and nursing as a profession has critical leadership obligations in achieving organizational goals in the context of healthcare delivery systems and in engaging in actions aimed at achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The central idea of the conference rotates around the context of transformational leadership focusing on the nurses’ roles and obligations in health and nursing care coordination and actualization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa.

The aim of the conference is to prepare nurses to impact in their various spheres and contribute their quota to global, regional, national and local healthcare and in the improvement of social determinants of health.

The conference also recognized the boldness and determination of the management of LeadNurse Africa International Foundation in putting together a great conference like this.



The preconference was kicked off with an introduction to the background of the conference by Professor Omolola Irinoye. She highlighted the need for nurses to become transformational leaders in their places of work and the need for them to be actively involved in the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Professor Oluyinka Adejumo then delivered a lecture on Transformational Leadership in Nursing: Perspectives and Application. In these lecture, he highlighted various levels of leadership and emphasized the need for workplaces to achieve organizational goals through transformational leadership. He encouraged nurses to become good leaders at their various places of work and enumerated several qualities of a transformational leader.

Donna Cardillo in her paper titled “Transformational Leadership: Harnessing the Power, the Passion and the Pride of Nursing in the development of Nursing Administration, education and practice”, gave 7 ways to become a transformational leader which are being proud as a nurse, advocate for the profession, learn to speak and write professionally, further your education, stay positive and connected, join international organizations and find a mentor while being a mentor.

In the discussion of  “Strategies for Translation of  Transformational Leadership Theories to Practice, Professor Ijeoma Okoronkwo gave a lecture on “Relevance of Nursing Models in Facilitating Effective Nursing Leadership and Practice” . She stated that workplace success of any employee directly reflects the success of the leader and it is vital for nurses to develop vital leadership skills at all levels.

She described the OREM’s model and the HLM models that show different leadership models and the implications of these models in nursing care practice.


Dr. Babajide Afolabi, encouraged nurses to embrace technology. He also extolled the virtues of professionalism, effective communication and good relationship with people as core values of a nurse leader. The title of his paper was “Technology Use for Transformational Leadership in Health and Nursing Care”.

During the preconference sessions, a total of four papers were presented titled:

  • Transformational Leadership in Nursing- Issues, Perspectives and Application by Prof Oluyinka Adejumo and Prof. Omolola Irinoye
  • Transformational Leadership: Harnessing the Power, the Passion and the Pride of Nursing in the development by Donna Cardillo.
  • Strategies of Translation of Theories to Practice for Transformational Leadership- Relevance of Nursing Models in Facilitating effective Nursing Leadership and Practice by Prof Ijeoma Okoronkwo
  • Technology Use for Transformational Leadership in Health and Nursing Care by Dr.Babajide Afolabi

These presentations were a build up to the main conference itself.

Highlights of these presentations included:

  • Characteristics of transformational leaders
  • Ways of promoting transformational leadership
  • How to become a transformational leader
  • Creating a healthy environment for work
  • Need to develop working models for nurses
  • Encouraging effective communication amongst leaders and followers

Afterwards the participants were arranged in groups. A total of 40 groups were organized. They were taxed to identify workplace or institutional challenges that have implications in transformational leadership and what can be done to bring about the desired change. The sessions were coordinated by Prof. Irinoye and Prof. Adejumo.

At the end of the working discussions, leaders of different groups came up and told the general participants what they felt were the issues at the work place and their proposed methods of tackling them.

Some resolutions reached by the groups and this was appreciated by the general audience as it facilitated exchange of ideas amongst them.



Mrs. Shonibare Oluyemisi, the Director of Nursing Services, Lagos gave the welcome address. In her address, she highlighted some of the reforms going on in the nursing sector including increasing specializations in nursing.

The Registrar and Secretary General of Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, Alhaji Farouk Umar Abubakar gave the opening remarks of the conference

The keynote address of the conference was delivered by Professor Philip Cotton, The Vice Chancellor of the University of Rwanda, Kigali. It was titled “The Future of African Health Care Industry and Professional Practice in The SDGs Era”. In his speech, he extolled the virtues of nurses and praised them for all their duties especially in the care of patients on and off the ward. He advocated that removal of power gap between leaders and members of institutions is an essential process in establishing transformational leadership. He advised that leaders can only develop better leaders if they can move through obstacles to reach every individual in need of their guidance and inspiration.  He emphasized the importance of transparency, accountability and admonished individuals to remove those things that oppress people under their leadership. He talked about the Rwandan experience and how they have been able to achieve the level of healthcare they have today through commitment to hard work and passion towards success.



The keynote address was followed by an award ceremony where transformational leaders were recognized for their impact in the development of Nursing education and public health. The Awards was presented to the Awardees by the advisory board chairman of LeadNurse Africa International Foundation, Richmond Dayo Johnson. The Awardees included:

  • Professor Omololu Irinoye
  • Professor Oluyinka Adejumo
  • Professor Ijeoma Okoronkwo
  • Jide Idris( Honorable commissioner of Health, Lagos State)
  • Alhaji Farouk Umar Abubakar ( Registrar and Secretary General, Nursing and Midwifery Council Of Nigeria)
  • Professor Philip Cotton ( Vice Chancellor, University of Rwanda, Kigali)
  • Donatilla Mukamana (Dean ,School of Nursing, University of Rwanda)
  • Professor Joseph Aina (President STTI, Nigeria).
  • Professor Mildred John

Various good will messages were given by Dr.Jide Idris (Honorable Commissioner of Health, Lagos State), the Chief Medical Director of Lagos State University Teaching Hospital and the Vice Chancellor Of Lagos State University and The representative of Vice Chancellor of Lagos state University . This was followed by a vote of thanks by Mr. Collins Ogbolu, Executive Director of LeadNurse Africa International foundation


The conference was formally declared open by Richmond Dayo Johnson, who serves as the advisory board chairman of LeadNurse Africa International Foundation. He thanked all who made out time to attend the conference and advised that they should learn all they could and be ready to step down the training in their various region and countries after the conference.

Richmond Dayo Johnson went on to deliver a paper titled: “Transformational Leadership- Empowering Nurses in Management and Practice. In this paper, he emphasized on the need for nurses to become transformational and impactful leaders nationally and globally. He encouraged participants to invest in learning and building capacity in whatever position they find themselves and be the change they want to see around them. He advised that the ability to discover and understand the ability in other people is better than the ability in you.

He entertained questions from participants before the panel discussion on The Future of African Health Care Industry in the SDGs Era and Implications for Nursing Practice. The panel session was moderated by professor Irinoye. The Registrar of nursing and Midwifery council Swaziland, Thembisile Khumalo , Richmond Dayo Johnson, Evelyn Amouko (LeadNurse Africa National Coordinator, Ghana), Mr Christopher Nzevenga (Nursing Council, Zimbabwe) and Professor Philip Cotton as the panellists. During this discussion, they expressed optimism in the achievement of the SDGs in Africa through best practices. They encouraged participants to explore use of technology and social advocacy in promoting quality of care and improving the social determinant of health. The registrar of Swaziland argued that Universities must work with regulatory institutions in order to modify and improve syllabus and teaching techniques so as to train students that will meet the increasing healthcare need of African population. After the panel discussion, they entertained questions from participants.


Professor Joseph Aina followed up with his presentation titled: “Transformational Leadership in Nursing education and Research.  He gave a brief historical perspective on leadership and examined the various types of leadership including democratic leadership and autocratic leadership styles.

He extolled the qualities of transformational leaders and encouraged nurses to become transformed after the conference.

This was followed by a paper presented by Dr Donatilla Makamana titled: “Advancing Nursing Education in a Multi-modal Curricula and the Implications for Transformational Leadership”. In her paper, she enlightened us on how far Rwanda has come in terms of delivering healthcare and establishing a good nursing school in the University. She talked about the Rwandan genocide and road to recovery. She shared with the participants the strategy of the School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Rwanda, as regards transformational leadership and how far it has brought them success. She also stressed on the need for collaboration with key local and international partners with the use of existing resources to achieve desired goals.

This was followed by an interactive session between her and the participants which was very interesting and highly informative.

On the 4th day of the conference, Mr. Emma Udontre who represented the Secretary General of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, Alhaji Farouk Umar Abubakar, delivered a lecture on Changing the Platform and Strategies for Advancing Nursing Education- The Nigerian Experience. In this lecture, he highlighted the need to advance nursing practice because nursing practice was changing globally, the populace was becoming more enlightened due to internet access and roles of nurses are ever expanding. He admonished leaders in their various capacities to adopt the top down bottom approach which ensured that staff were carried along all the time.

He also shared part of the strategic plan of the nursing council of Nigeria whose vision is to become the foremost regulatory body whose products will be the best nursing and midwifery practitioners in the world.

Mr. Balarabe Gaya took to the podium for his presentation on Strategic Planning: Building Goal Oriented Organizational Culture in Nursing Practice. He defined strategic planning as a systematic process of envisioning a desired future and translating this vision into broadly defined goals. He stressed on the need for strategic management which is aimed to achieve better alignment of corporate practices and strategic priorities.

He also advocated the need for strength, weakness, opportunities and threat (SWOT) analysis at all levels in an organization to enable nurses develop a goal oriented patient care.

A business coach and executive coach, Mrs. Modupe Oluwayemi gave a talk on Personal Development and Leadership: The Light House. During this presentation, she let the audience in on the journey of how she came to where she is. It was borne out of the need to make an impact in the society and world at large rather than play mediocre. She encouraged the audience to take every available opportunity to develop themselves and become better leaders.

This was followed by a presentation by Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr.John Babalola. He talked about Promoting Emotional intelligence for Transformational Leadership. He defined emotional intelligence as the array of skills and characteristics that drive leadership performance. He went a step further to differentiate between intelligence quotient and emotional intelligence. He encouraged the participants to develop confidence in their abilities and not mistake confidence as cockiness. He fielded questions from the audience.

This was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Professor Irinoye with Dr.John Babalola and Mrs. Modupe Oluwayemi.

Lanre Nehan Babalola, a physiotherapist and founder of NaijAid UK, gave a presentation on Essential Human Factors in establishing Transformational Leadership in Nursing. She talked extensively on the human approach to patient safety and increased rate of medical errors due to low manpower in some establishments.

She also highlighted the recent advances made in the field of robotics and medicine in general. She let the audience know that this was the future of healthcare and is already happening in some countries.

Christilene Kiewiets delivered the next presentation titled: “Professional Coaching in Development and Empowerment of Healthcare Staff. She defined coaching in healthcare as a method of deploying techniques embedded in artful questioning and appreciative enquiry to help leaders unlock their full potential to achieve personal and professional success.

She outlined coaching methods and listening skills needed by nurse coaches.

The final day of the conference had three papers with the first being Transformational Leadership-The Future of the Nursing Profession in the competitive healthcare industry by Dr.Abosede Ofi the board chairman of Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria and head of department of nursing, University of Lagos. This was followed by Transformational Leadership in Nursing Administration and Practice by Mrs. Shonibare and the last paper was Transformational Leadership in practice- Establishing Guiding Structures for Quality Assurance and Care Evaluation by Chizim Eze.  There was also a panel Session that has Mrs Shonibare Dorcas, Dr Halima M. Salisu Kabara  and the representative of the director of Nursing services Nigeria, Mrs Uloma Mbanaso .



After the conference, delegates from all participating institutions and countries gathered in a roundtable discussion and reached the following recommendations and resolutions:

  • In line with the core nursing values we shall always stand on the platform of humanity to offer consultative and participatory care.
  • Give a detailed report and function as change agents by first sharing the wealth of knowledge acquired during the conference.
  • Influence social determinants of health through robust community advocacy
  • Develop a set of criteria to evaluate the impact of the step down conference on the participants from various organizations and institutions.
  • Advocate for budget provision and increase training and retraining of nurses to enhance professionalism and positive patient outcome and satisfaction.
  • Periodic appraisal of performance and impact as nurses at various levels of leadership and spheres of influence.
  • Colleagues with diverse ideas will be embraced as valuable partners and not as rivals.
  • Increased participation at policy and decision making at all levels by nurses.
  • Increased participation in monitoring and evaluation of Nursing and Midwifery programs.
  • Improve communication skills.
  • Engage actively in research and implementation of research findings.
  • We recommend that nurses should have unified standard of practice.
  • Develop the act of empathy towards patients and colleagues.
  • Develop developmental policy.
  • Promote inter sectorial collaboration with other health care professionals.
  • Advocate for an enabling working environment.
  • Application of team work spirit.
  • Move from transactional leadership to transformational leadership
  • Nursing practice and Services should be technologically driven.
  • Take action rather than complain.
  • Participate in active politics.
  • Enhance communication among the nursing leadership and team members.
  • All delegates of this conference must put forward a plan to step down this training at their various institutions of work.


  • The Nursing training curriculum should be reviewed and modified to include new global best practices.
  • Standardization of job description for nurses should be implemented.
  • Adopt the five sub-committees in our organizations for administrative and educative efficacy.
  • This training should be taken further down to the various institutions and the whole nursing unit should all be trained in transformational leadership.
  • Government should increase budgetary allocation to the health sector and also make fund available to sponsor training of nurses across all level of care and specialties.
  • Government and employers (hospitals, Universities) should provide a conducive working environment by providing equipment to work with and improve salary scale to encourage better output from nursing staff.
  • The Nursing and Midwifery Council of various countries should increase its advocacy for more funding and better welfare for nurses at government level, and also advocate for adoption of favourable policies and also work hard to actualize its new goals and vision
  • The delegates asked that regulatory bodies should endeavour to implement these resolutions reached at the conference.


The conference was declared closed by Mr. Collins Ogbolu after he thanked all delegates and the resource persons for their active participation and contributions towards the success of the conference.


Lead Nurse Africa is a Pan-African nursing organization dedicated to public health promotion and professional development.

3 thoughts on “1st International Nursing Leadership Conference Communique

  1. Nursing is evolving & this type of training & retraining is impressive. Lets continue to push until we get there in Nigeria.

  2. this is quite sensational ,eye opening and educative in regards to Nursing in Nigeria,we are still far behind ,we lack technology and nurses are not being encouraged to pursue more education in different specialities.

  3. This conference contains a lot of mind blowing sessions that shows that Nurses are finally evolving and realizing their potentials thereby ready to move with the change that comes with it. Nurses must be heard.

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