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Action learning: a tool for the development of strategic skills for Nurse Consultants?

Authors

  • SARAH YOUNG BSc, MSc, RN,

    1. Nurse Consultant Cardiology, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust and Visiting Fellow at University of Brighton
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  • EILEEN NIXON MSc, RN,

    1. Nurse Consultant HIV, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals and Honorary Lecturer at University of Brighton
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  • DENISE HINGE BSc, PGCSHCE, MSc, RN, ENB 100,

    1. Nurse Consultant Critical Care, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust
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  • JAN McFADYEN BA, MA, MSc, RN,

    1. Nurse Consultant Non Cancer Palliative Care, South Downs NHS Trust
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  • VANESSA WRIGHT BSc, MA, RN, RHV,

    1. Nurse Consultant Looked after Children, South Downs NHS Trust/Brighton and Hove Children and Young Peoples Trust
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  • PAULINE LAMBERT BSc, PGCHSCE, RN, RHV,

    1. Head of Nursing, Governance and Safety, Brighton and Hove Children and Young People’s Trust and Honorary Fellow at University of Brighton
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  • CAROLYN PILKINGTON MSc, RN, RHV,

    1. Formerly Nurse Consultant Child Protection, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust and Formerly Honorary Clinical Fellow at University of Brighton
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  • CHRISTINE NEWSOME PhD, MA (ed), MA (Medical Ethics and Law), Dip N (Lond), DipTropN, FETC, RN, RSCN

    1. Formerly Nurse Consultant Neonatology, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, Brighton, UK
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Sarah Young
Cardiac Department
Royal Sussex County Hospital
Eastern Road
Brighton BN2 5BE
UK
E-mail: sarah.young@bsuh.nhs.uk

Abstract

young s., nixon e., hinge d., mcfadyen j., wright v., lambert p., pilkington c. & newsome c. (2010) Journal of Nursing Management18, 105–110
Action learning: a tool for the development of strategic skills for Nurse Consultants?

Aim  This paper will discuss the process of action learning and the outcomes of using action learning as a tool to achieve a more strategic function from Nurse Consultant posts.

Background  It is documented that one of the most challenging aspect of Nurse Consultant roles, in terms of leadership, is the strategic contribution they make at a senior corporate Trust level, often across organizations and local health economies. A facilitated action learning set was established in Brighton, England, to support the strategic leadership development of eight nurse consultant posts across two NHS Trusts.

Evaluation  Benefits to patient care, with regard to patient pathways and cross-organizational working, have been evident outcomes associated with the nurse consultant posts involved in the action learning set.

Key issues  Commitment by organizational nurse leaders is essential to address the challenges facing nurse consultants to implement change at strategic levels.

Conclusions  The use of facilitated action learning had been a successful tool in developing the strategic skills of Nurse Consultant posts within this setting.

Implications for nursing management  Action learning sets may be successfully applied to a range of senior nursing posts with a strategic remit and may assist post holders in achieving better outcomes pertinent to their roles.

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