Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Karen Stefaniak

Committee Member

Dr. Debra Hampton

Committee Member

Dr. Tukea Talbert


BACKGROUND: In order to serve as full partners on the interdisciplinary health care team: nurses at all levels must develop essential leadership competencies Organizations need to identify the essential leadership competencies required for bedside nursing staff and develop programs to enhance these competencies. Leadership competencies in areas such as managing change can help bedside nursing staff improve care delivery and quality outcomes.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this project was to evaluate the impact of an established leadership development program on participants’ perceptions of structural empowerment, leadership self-efficacy, and staff nurse clinical leadership in one university health system.

METHODS: The pilot study was a single center, prospective pre-test, post-test design. Nurses in the 2017 Leaders in Training (LIT) program completed surveys which measured their perceptions of structural empowerment, confidence in performance of leadership skills, and ability to employ transformational leadership practices at the bedside.

RESULTS: The pre- and post-survey mean empowerment and clinical leadership findings did not differ significantly. Themes generated from the Clinical Nurse Leader Self-Efficacy Survey responses indicated participants felt high levels of confidence when performing the roles of client advocate, peer mentor, and professional practice leader. Participants reported a lack in confidence when asked to manage health of populations and for assignments requiring financial management and business skills.

CONCLUSION: This project added to our understanding of the needs of program participants, the relevance of program content, and the ability of participants to translate knowledge to action at the bedside