Date of Graduation

Fall 12-17-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


School of Nursing and Health Professions




Executive Leader DNP

First Advisor

Dr. KT Waxman

Second Advisor

Dr. Priscilla Javed


Background: Minority nurse leader presence at the executive leadership level is suboptimal, with insufficient pathways to increase representation. The lack of diversity in executive leadership threatens efforts to improve patient care and reduce disparities (Jerome Harris, 2021).

Local Problem: Practices to increase the diversity of executive nurse leaders at a pediatric medical center have had very little to no impact. Frontline nurses and nurse executives are not racially or ethnically representative of the increasingly minority patient populations served.

Context: As a commitment to increasing workforce diversity, the medical center developed an executive-level Racial Equity Taskforce, which aligned with the DNP project to develop minority executive nurse leaders.

Interventions: A mentorship program was developed de novo to increase the self-efficacy and leadership practices of minority frontline nurse managers. Group mentor sessions were based on the nurse executive American Organization for Nursing Leadership (AONL) competencies. Participants were familiarized with AONL competencies through the lived experiences of executive leaders.

Outcome Measures: Leadership practices and perceived self-efficacy were assessed pre- and post-intervention. The Leadership Practices Inventory-Self (LPI-S) and the Work Self-Efficacy Inventory (WS-Ei) tools were used to assess program impact.

Results: The project exceeded the specific aim of a 10% increase in leadership practices and the overall self-efficacy composite measures. The greatest and most consistent gains were in the leadership practices domains.

Conclusions: This project demonstrated the value of focused mentorship in improving self-efficacy and leadership practices to prepare nurse leaders for future executive roles, even when a project is of short duration and implemented in times of flux.

Keywords: diversity, mentor, nursing leadership, executive leadership and self-efficacy