A Year-Long Leadership Succession Program for Clinical Nurses

Tuesday, 19 November 2013: 8:30 AM

Keith W. Hoshal, MSN, RN-BC, OCN
Nursing Research and Development, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to describe a process for the development of a Clinical Leadership program and its selection of applicants

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to describe the curriculum contents of a year-long leadership development program that prepares experienced staff nurses for clinical leadership positions

The AACN reported that less than 10% of healthcare organizations have a ‘robust’ leadership succession plan (AACN, 2011). While many hospitals invest resources into new graduate programs, many lack leadership programs for the experienced nurse. As the healthcare industry prepares to lose a significant amount of nurses to retirement, it is imperative that clinical leadership succession programs are developed.

In 2011, our center experienced a vacancy rate of over 20% within clinical leadership positions at the top of the clinical ladder. A staff development program was necessary to support experienced nurses in developing the leadership qualifications and professional confidence to successfully be promoted to those positions. A year-long leadership program was developed.

The 12th Standard, Leadership among the ANA’s Standards of Professional Nursing Practice (ANA, 2010) served as a launching pad to build core topics for the monthly workshops. Pre-planning included scheduling agreements; participants were to be paid for their attendance at the workshops. Interested nurses were nominated for the program, interviews were conducted and the chosen participants led a performance improvement project over the 12 months’ duration of the program. They presented their findings at our center’s internal nursing research day and at professional conferences and were recognized at our annual nursing awards ceremony. After its 1st year, over 40% of the participants have already received promotions to increased nursing leadership roles within our organization. A 2nd class is underway. This program has been a successful, cost-efficient strategy to build leadership succession among our experienced clinical nurses at our center.