Leadership Development for Clinical Staff Nurses: Program Design
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The Nursing Professional Development (NPD) practitioner is responsible for facilitating role development of nurses and healthcare team members, and promoting quality improvement (QI) activities. Using the nursing process and educational principles, a Midwest community hospital created a leadership development program to improve Unit Practice Team (UPT) function as part of a shared governance model. Successful shared governance requires a shift in power toward staff, access to resources, opportunities for growth, and administrative support. Successful leadership development has the potential to improve nursing quality, patient care, and staff satisfaction. A 2013 needs assessment identified four areas of development of UPT leaders: the role of the staff RN in improving quality and safety, leadership skills, implementing change, and collaboration with leadership. The NPD team developed an evidence-based leadership development program for UPT chairs, consisting of 4 sessions: 1) an introduction to the role of UPTs in quality improvement and patient safety, 2) leadership skills and principles, 3) planning and implementing change, and 4) understanding communication styles and collaboration with department managers. Managers are asked to participate in the final session, which includes goal setting for the coming year. UPT chairs from across nursing and ancillary service departments participate in the sessions. Survey results support an increase in knowledge and confidence among clinical RN leaders. Structured analysis of UPT activities post implementation demonstrates increased clinical staff involvement in shared governance, improvement in team function, and an increase in QI activities and evidence-based practice decisions.