Date of Award

Summer 2020

Document Type

Final DNP Paper

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



Faculty Chair

Dr. Leigh Ann Keith


The nurse leader is critical in staff development, contentment, retention, patient safety, quality of care, and achievement of organizational goals. Nurse leaders in a managerial role must lead, oversee, delegate, guide, and support staff nurses. They are expected to demonstrate clinical competence, make decisions, communicate effectively, be visible and approachable, and empower others. Some skills learned as a charge nurse can help the new manager adapt to the role, but many healthcare organizations offer a novice nurse manager a limited orientation.

Purpose: Effective nursing leadership requires nurse managers to have clinical experience, think critically, motivate others, communicate and delegate constructively, nurture talent, and empower other individuals. The purpose of this quality improvement (QI) project was to develop leadership training for nurse managers to ensure managerial retention, increase staff nurse satisfaction and compliance, and improve patient and organizational outcomes.

Design Methods: Eight nurse managers in a rural hospital in the southeastern United States attended in-person, individual, one-day leadership development training sessions over a two-month implementation period in the spring of 2020. The project was designed to increase the self-reported leadership competency levels of nurse managers using a quantitative, quasi-experimental design to guide the project. Participants completed a demographic survey that included age, ethnicity, gender, highest nursing degree earned, years of nursing practice, years in nursing management, and previous leadership experience. Participants then completed the Nurse Leader Competency Self-Assessment© on the American Organization for Nursing Leadership (AONL) website before and after the leadership development session to determine the effect of training on self-reported leadership competency.

Conclusion: The results of the Nurse Leader Competency Self-Assessment© were analyzed using Mintab® 18.1 software. The Wilcoxon-Sign Rank test was performed to analyze the effect of the training on participants’ with a p-value less than 0.05 showing statistical significance. Participants perceived knowledge and confidence improved significantly (p <= 0.05) on 33 of the 43 objectives that were analyzed from the Nurse Leader Competency Self-Assessment©.

Implications for Nursing: The leadership development program had a positive impact on nurse managers’ self-reported competency levels, and the data supports the benefits of leadership training. The Nurse Leader Competency Self-Assessment© was effective in ascertaining self-reported deficiencies in nursing leadership and would serve as a useful tool when implementing a leadership development program.

Included in

Nursing Commons



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