Role Modeling in Nursing Leadership Skills of Graduate Education: Professional Formation and Reflection (RD)

Sunday, 22 July 2018: 10:25 AM

Fang-yu Chou, PhD, RN
School of Nursing, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA, USA

Purpose: One of the program goals of the nursing graduate program is to prepare nursing students to utilize leadership skills to engage and lead positive changes in the dynamic health care environment. Advanced practice nurses (APRN) are expected to assume complex leadership roles to initiate and guide changes. Building leadership skills and role developments are part of the experiential learning processes for graduate students. This presentation summarized students’ reflective summaries of which graduate students interviewed their clinical mentors about top leadership skills and challenges faced by these APRN mentors.

Methods: Forty nursing graduate students completed the reflective summaries in a graduate course with content related to health system management. This learning activity was a discussion forum in which was to have nursing graduate students interview their identified clinical mentors about the challenges and essential leadership skills faced by these mentors. The reflective summaries were analyzed by the content analysis method.

Results: There were 40 APRNs interviewed. They included 12 directors/nurse managers/assistant nurse managers, 5 clinical nurse educators, 18 clinical nurse specialists, 2 nurse practitioners, 1 case manager, 1 certified nurse midwife, and 1 quality improvement officer. The major challenges faced by these APRNs included managing different priorities, lack of adequate resource and support, unclear roles and functions, making a culture change, motivate people who are resistant to change, heavy workload, and managing conflicted values and making right decisions, not having enough time to get everything done, and getting people work together. There were 60 different leadership skills described by these APRNs. The top common skills mentioned were communication, teamwork, organizational skills, active listening, integrity, and compassion.

Conclusion: In addition to the didactic learning provided in the classroom setting, having students to engage effective observation and dialogue with their prospective mentors in the clinical setting can enhance their affective domain of learning. It can also bring opportunities for them to be reflective and self-aware about the actual challenges they may encounter and the leadership skills they need to apply on a daily basis when they become an independent APRN in the future. More learning programs and activities can be further explored to foster the mentorship and role modeling process and develop the complex roles and functions of advanced practice nurses.