Date of Graduation

Fall 12-11-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


School of Nursing and Health Professions




Executive Leader DNP

First Advisor

Peggi Winter

Second Advisor

KT Waxman


Problem: Developing leaders to lead in environments that are dynamic, complex, and ambiguous is an area of focus for healthcare leaders. How leaders lead and how organizations develop leaders is tied to the outcomes they achieve (Development Dimensions International [DDI], 2019; Moldoveanu & Narayandas, 2019; Till, Dutta, & McKimm, 2016). To create a climate of trust and safety where teams succeed requires leaders to embed key attributes and competencies into their day-to-day work.

Context: A leader’s ability to create a climate of trust and safety and to adopt and apply a coach mindset to their work is intended to help them lead self, lead others, and lead the business while positively impacting confidence, trust/psychological safety, and employee engagement (Center for Creative Leadership, 2019, Rindlisbacher, 2020).

Interventions: The #Leadershipaccelerated program was developed and implemented in a way to reinforce and embed a coach mindset into the day-to-day behaviors of leaders. The program was composed of a series of 2-hour learning modules, a 360 assessment, and one-on-one coaching. The program was implemented using virtual classroom technology in an integrated healthcare delivery setting.

Measures: The overall goal of the project was to help leaders increase their confidence and adopt a coach mindset in a way that improves the climate, as measured by trust/psychological safety, and employee engagement. Pre- and post-implementation measurements of confidence, psychological safety, and engagement, along with session evaluations, were collected.

Results: Frontline leaders from laboratory services, nursing, and other corporate shared service areas participated in the program. Significant improvements (p ≤ .05) in confidence and psychological safety were achieved. Engagement results, pre- and post-implementation, are not yet available. The COVID-19 pandemic was a confounding variable which affected participation rates and influenced the outcomes achieved and applicability of the results to a broader audience.

Conclusions: Combining one-on-one coaching with other leadership development activities was successful, reinforced the adoption and application of a coach mindset, and began to create a climate that improves trust/psychological safety. The ability to sustain the gains and ultimately change the culture of an organization will require ongoing efforts. Additional application and research in the use of a coach mindset as a leadership behavior would be beneficial, particularly considering the small sample size and confounding factor of the COVID-19 pandemic.