Service impact of a national clinical leadership development programme: findings from a qualitative study

Authors

  • Gerard M. Fealy MEd, PhD, RGN,

    Associate Dean, Research and Innovation, Corresponding author
    1. UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems, University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland
    • Correspondence

      Gerard M. Fealy

      UCD School of Nursing

      Midwifery and Health Systems

      University College Dublin

      Belfield

      Dublin 4

      Ireland

      E-mail: gerard.fealy@ucd.ie

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  • Martin S. McNamara EdD, MA, RGN,

    Dean and Head of School
    1. UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems, University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland
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  • Mary Casey MMedSc (Nurs), PhD, RGN,

    Associate Dean for Taught Graduate Programmes
    1. UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems, University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland
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  • Tom O'Connor MSc, PhD, RGN,

    Director of Continuing Professional Development
    1. UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems, University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland
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  • Declan Patton MSc, PhD, RGN,

    Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning
    1. UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems, University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland
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  • Louise Doyle BBS, MSc E-Commerce,

    Head of Learning and Development
    1. St Vincent's University Hospital, Dublin 4, Ireland
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  • Christina Quinlan BSc, MSc, PhD

    Research Assistant
    1. UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems, University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland
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Abstract

Aim

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.

Background

Clinical leadership development develops competencies that are expressed in context. The outcomes of clinical leadership development occur at individual, departmental and organisational levels.

Methods

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.

Results

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.

Conclusion

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.

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