Effective leadership is essential in healthcare organisations, with several high-profile reports on suboptimal care in the NHS demonstrating a link between ineffective leadership and compromised patient safety. Therefore, it is important that nurses understand how leadership is defined and what effective leadership entails in practice. Various types of leadership are described in the literature, such as transactional, transformational and contingency leadership. One approach that could be beneficial in NHS organisations is collective leadership, which involves developing a leadership culture where formal and informal leaders work together to generate actions. This article explores the implementation of collective leadership in healthcare organisations, the potential benefits of this approach, and the behaviours and qualities that nurses require to be collective leaders.