A model of succession planning for mental health nurse practitioners


  • Sally Hampel, NP, MMentHlthSc.

  • Nicholas Procter, RN, MBA, PhD.

  • Kate Deuter, BAppSc, Grad Cert.

Sally Hampel, Central Northern Adelaide Health Service, SA Health, 207 Hampstead Rd, Northfield, SA 5085, Australia. Email: sally.hampel@health.sa.gov.au


This paper reviews current literature on succession planning for mental health nurse practitioners (NPs) and discusses a model of succession planning that is underpinned by principals of leadership development, workforce participation and client engagement. The paper identifies succession planning as a means of managing a present and future workforce, while simultaneously addressing individual and organizational learning and practice development needs. A discussion of the processes attendant upon sustainable succession planning – collegial support, career planning and development, information exchange, capacity building, and mentoring is framed within the potential interrelationships between existing NP, developing NP and service directors and/or team managers. Done effectively and in partnership with wider clinical services, succession planning has the potential to build NP leadership development and leadership transition more broadly within mental health services.