Lead: Empowering Clinical Leaders at the Bedside

Monday, 9 November 2015

Joyce J. Fitzpatrick, PhD, RN, FAAN1
Kelly Hancock, MSN, RN2
Mary Beth Modic, DNP, RN2
Jennifer Van Dyk, DNP, RN2
(1)Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA
(2)Nursing, CCF, Cleveland, OH, USA

The LEAD Program, Leadership Education and Development was designed to transform care at the bedside by empowering clinical nurses and assistant nurse managers in their roles as clinical unit-based leaders. The heart of the LEAD program is enhancing communication skills of clinical nurses. Participants are taught new communication skills, emphasizing their leadership role, with clinical colleagues, particularly physicians, nurse colleagues, and most importantly, patients and families. Key concepts of leadership/management were core to the program to empower the clinical nurses.  Concepts addressed included: personal awareness and personal leadership skills and abilities, leading change, leading others individually and in teams, leading to enhance the patient and provider experience, and the leadership role in outcomes management. Objectives included: orient nurses to their leadership potential for affecting change at all levels of care; introduce ways nurses can include elements of leadership in day-to-day management and patient care activities; describe real and perceived barriers to nurse leadership from bedside to boardroom; and capture the nurses voices regarding leadership in clinical care through vignettes about nurse caring and the patient experiences. Participants submitted reflections on leadership, powerful descriptions of the program impact. Also, participants’ leadership practices were charted prior to program implementation and at program conclusion, with significant differences noted collectively and individually. Program outcomes will be presented including key behavior changes and perceptions of the unleased potential for affecting change in day-to-day clinical practice. Key program outcomes from the assistant nurse manager group have been initiated, including a virtual journal club, a caring for the caregiver program, and a professional mentoring program to assist nurses to develop professional success. The presentation will also focus on lessons learned and plans for future program development, including the publication of nurse participants’ reflections on leadership and profiles of significant changes in care delivery as a result of the LEAD experience.