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Authors

  1. Sullivan, Jacqueline PhD, RN, CCRN
  2. Bretschneider, Joan PhD, RN
  3. McCausland, Maureen P. DNSc, RN, FAAN

Abstract

The authors describe an evidence-driven approach used in designing a leadership development program targeted for nurses in middle management positions in an academically affiliated integrated healthcare system. A qualitative study was conducted to investigate leadership development needs and experiences of nurse managers across the health system. Study findings were used to inform educational programs and organizational initiatives responsive to needs of both novice and expert nurse managers across diverse clinical settings.

 

Because nurse managers have substantial responsibility, an academically affiliated integrated healthcare system determined that the design of a leadership development program specifically for nurses in middle management positions was a priority. This health system previously had implemented a professional practice model across all practice environments. 1 The nurse manager role was recognized as essential to its success. A critical review of the literature also revealed substantial discussion of the pivotal nature of this management role in influencing nurse satisfaction, recruitment, and retention, and in ensuring quality of patient care and patient safety. 2-5 However, few studies described systematic investigations undertaken with the specific intent of determining leadership development needs and experiences of new or tenured nurse managers. 6-8 Consistent with previous efforts utilizing evidence-based approaches for program development, this health system conducted a qualitative study to investigate leadership development needs and experiences of nurse managers.