The importance of increasing frontline nurses’ leadership skills engaging in professional development programs

Christine Fardellone, Jennifer Meyer, Launette Woolforde


Problem/Significance: Nurses may not be required to engage in professional development; however professional development has been identified as a factor to improve leadership competence, confidence, decision making, and clinical practice. Specifically, nurses who participate in professional development education improve their leadership characteristics. This study will evaluate the leadership behaviors of frontline nurses participating in professional development compared to those who were not.

Methods: A convenience sample of 248 staff nurses employed in the North East region of the United States responded to the descriptive observational study design. The subjective responses to the Leadership Practice Inventory® (LPI) and demographic variables were analyzed.

Results: Clinical ladder nurses scored higher on all subscales of the LPI than did nurses not on the clinical ladder. Unit-based clinical champions scored highest on the LPI regardless of the clinical ladder level or participation.

Conclusions: Professional development in the form of education, certification, preceptor programs, leadership development clinical ladder programs, and unit-based champions should be considered in order to improve patient outcomes.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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