Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


School of Nursing and Health Professions


Executive Leader DNP

First Advisor

K.T. Waxman

Second Advisor

Robin Buccheri

Third Advisor

JoAnn Mette


Future executive nurse leaders must be identified and prepared for the challenges of 21st century health care. The literature suggests a lack of existing standardized succession plans for these leaders. Senior leaders are often faced with the complex issue of how to develop and validate the competencies required for these leadership roles (Dyess, Sherman, Pratt, & Chiang- Hanisko, 2016). Therefore, in the absence of a succession plan, creating a leadership development program, which provides a pipeline of new executive leaders, would alleviate this gap. The motivating force is an effort to promote current talent and provide a higher level of competence.

The American Organization of Nurse Executives’ (2015) nurse executive competencies were used to identify behavioral attributes necessary for successful leadership performance. Evidence-based simulation was chosen as the modality to educate and evaluate potential leaders, allowing for a leadership development program designed to strengthen and enhance clinical judgment while providing cost savings to the organization (Bleich, 2015).

The evidence-based intervention for this project was composed of two parts. Part one was development of three simulation scenarios that were validated and beta tested by DNP students. Part two was the development of a toolkit for the California Simulation Alliance leadership repository, including a scenario on gravitas and a process of implementation and evaluation of the success of participants.

Creating a leadership development program for succession planning using simulation is valuable for learning, practice, and proficiency for the individual; improving metrics; and stabilizing the culture and cost savings to the organization.

Included in

Nursing Commons