Original Research

Exploring the challenges in leadership roles experienced by nurse managers in a mining primary healthcare setting in South Africa

Sanele E. Nene
Curationis | Vol 44, No 1 | a2196 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v44i1.2196 | © 2021 Sanele E. Nene | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 October 2020 | Published: 10 August 2021

About the author(s)

Sanele E. Nene, Department of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa

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Background: The challenges in leadership roles hinder the rendering of quality primary healthcare service in the mines. Mining, the heart of the South African economy, requires good health to its personnel to carry out operations. However, nurse managers, the leaders in a mining primary healthcare setting experience difficulties in their leadership roles.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to explore and describe the challenges in leadership roles experienced by nurse managers in a mining primary healthcare setting in South Africa.

Method: The study was conducted in a mining primary healthcare setting in West Rand, Gauteng province, South Africa. A qualitative, exploratory, descriptive design that is contextual in nature, using a phenomenological approach, was adopted. Data from nurse managers in the mine were collected and data saturation was reached by the seventh participant. The study followed Giorgi’s four stages of the phenomenological descriptive data analysis. An expert independent coder in qualitative research coded the data, and consensus on the findings was reached with the researcher.

Results: Three subthemes emerged from the study: mining management and unions interfere with nurse managers’ leadership roles, incongruent mining primary healthcare policies and communication gap between nurse managers and mining management.

Conclusion: The triangulation of nurse managers, mining management and unions requires a collective fusion to directly tackle the challenges in leadership roles in mining primary healthcare.


leadership roles; challenges; experiences; nurse managers; primary healthcare


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