Date of Graduation

Summer 8-15-2016

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


School of Nursing and Health Professions

First Advisor

Carlee Balzaretti

Second Advisor

Dr. Elena Capella


Clinical nursing leadership is now recognized as a key professional competency that will assure quality patient care and efficient work processes. The medical-surgical unit (MSU) at VA Mather has had high turnover rates and low staff satisfaction surveys for the past two years, which has led to a decline in staff morale. Lead nurses are in key positions to develop their unit staff, promote leadership development, and they are encouraged to act as role models in their practice. Change is difficult; therefore, the application of essential leadership skills is a necessary accompaniment to a change strategy in order to produce positive outcomes and sustainability within the microsystem. In order to achieve the objective of this project, the writer identified the learning needs of prospective lead nurses, worked in collaboration with VA staff when devising a leadership training course, initiated a lead nurse program (LNP) on MSU, and then measured the outcomes using a post-assessment tool. Based on supporting evidence that effective leadership at the unit level is improving productivity and performance of staff, as well as patient outcomes, the implementation of the LNP on MSU was an appropriate evidence-based project. The overarching clinical nurse leader theme represented throughout this project centers around clinical outcomes management in the role as educator.

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