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.