Service impact of a national clinical leadership development programme: findings from a qualitative study
The study reported here was part of a larger study, which evaluated a national clinical leadership development programme with reference to resources, participant experiences, participant outcomes and service impact. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the programme's service impact.
Clinical leadership development develops competencies that are expressed in context. The outcomes of clinical leadership development occur at individual, departmental and organisational levels.
The methods used to evaluate the service impact were focus groups, group interviews and individual interviews. Seventy participants provided data in 18 separate qualitative data collection events.
The data contained numerous accounts of service development activities, initiated by programme participants, which improved service and/or improved the culture of the work setting.
Clinical leadership development programmes that incorporate a deliberate service impact element can result in identifiable positive service outcomes. The nuanced relationship between leader development and service development warrants further investigation.
Implications for nursing management
This study demonstrates that clinical leadership development can impact on service in distinct and identifiable ways. Clinical leadership development programmes should focus on the setting in which the leadership competencies will be demonstrated.