1. Nagelkerk, Jean PhD, RN

Article Content


An innovative year-long leadership and change project has been developed and implemented in the Family Blended Role Program. The purpose of this project is to assist students in analyzing how to implement a proposed change to solve a problem or implement improvements in a healthcare organization. The project also provides each student an opportunity to provide leadership for a project team.



Advanced practice nurses, by virtue of their positions, are leaders in healthcare policy and in clinical and professional activities. Students, during their leadership/change project, gain valuable leadership skills by analyzing and working toward improving organizational systems.



Students have the opportunity to provide leadership as an interdisciplinary team builder, consultant, mentor, and change agent through their project activities. Students in clinical settings analyze the policies, procedures, routines, and systems to identify an opportunity for change. They select a particular problem, issue, or improvement opportunity to work on over the year.



They use Lewin's Force-Field Model to guide the implementation of the proposed change. The project is completed during the students' 3 clinical courses. In Practicum I, students identify and describe the project, the key stakeholders, and the unfreezing step of Lewin's Force-Field Model, and identify potential strategies to implement the proposed change. In Practicum II, students update their progress on the change project to include a description of the implementation of strategies and the freezing step of Lewin's Force-Field Model. In Practicum III, students report their refinement of implementation strategies and evaluation of the change project.



At the completion of the program, students design a poster and provide a verbal presentation of their leadership/change project to their peers, faculty, and clinical preceptors.



All parties evaluate the change project and poster presentations as excellent examples of integrating theory into practice.