abstract Pedaline Mentoring Nurse Leaders in Exemplary Leadership Practices

Mentoring Nurse Leaders in Exemplary Leadership Practices

Susan H. Pedaline

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TITLE: Mentoring Nurse Leaders in Exemplary Leadership Practices
 
RESEARCHER: Susan H. Pedaline
School of Nursing
University of Pittsburgh
Unpublished research paper: April 2011

OBJECTIVE
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of structured mentoring within the conceptual framework of Kouzes and Posner’s Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership.

METHODOLOGY
The pilot project was initiated with a pilot group of six nurse managers within the Obstetric and Newborn Division of Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC (University of Pittsburg Medical Center) who were invited to participate. The study participant s were all female with an average age of 43, with 13-32 years of nursing experience average = 21), an average of 21 years of nursing experience, with between 3 and 15 years of management experience; everyone had a BSN degree, with four holding graduate degrees and the remaining two enrolled in MSN programs. Each nurse manager completed the Leadership Practices Inventory and randomly selected a minimum of eight to ten members of their staff to complete the LPI Observer. After reviewing the entire report, the mentor and nurse manager discussed potential target areas for mentoring, considering those behaviors with the largest gap between self and observer scores and/or overall lower scores in a practice area. Prior to the next mentoring session, they were asked to identify a leadership behavior focus, or one of the 30 specific items within the Five Exemplary Practices of Leadership that they wanted to target with mentoring. Their focus area, a specific leadership behavior, was chosen based on mutually established goals following review of the results of their pre-mentoring LPI (LPI 1) 360 degree feedback. Within two weeks of receiving the report, an individual mentoring session was held to review their selected area of focus, based on their review of the data and to clarify any information they received from conversations with their observers. Individual mentoring sessions occurred monthly with each of the nurse manager participants for a period of six months. Each session lasted one hour and included a similar format each time. A reassessment of the LPI was administered to the same group of observers following the six months of mentoring and feedback. An independent party did post-mentoring interviews of each of the participants.

KEY FINDINGS
Post-LPI scores for the nurse managers were all higher than the pre-test scores and significantly so for every leadership practice but Model. There was a similar trend for scores from observers but they did not reach statistical significance levels. All six nurse managers in their interviews recognized that their scores had increased, and demonstrated an overall positive response to the mentoring program. The author concludes: “An evidence based 360 feedback is an effective tool to measure both baseline performance and reassessment for further development” (p. 17) and suggests “that structured mentoring provided by a direct supervisor within the Exemplary Practices of Leadership conceptual framework can be an effective strategy in improving the leadership practices of frontline nurse managers” (p. 18).


 

Mentoring Nurse Leaders in Exemplary Leadership Practices

Download a Printer Friendly Version (PDF)
 
TITLE Mentoring Nurse Leaders in Exemplary Leadership Practices
 
RESEARCHER Susan H. Pedaline
School of Nursing
University of Pittsburgh
Unpublished capstone project: April 2011

OBJECTIVE
The aim of this pilot study was to evaluate the effect of structured mentoring within the conceptual framework of Kouzes and Posner’s Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership

METHODOLOGY
The project was initiated with a pilot group of six nurse managers within the Obstetric and Newborn Division of Magee-Women’s Hospital of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center who were invited to participate. The completed the Leadership Practices Inventory and randomly selected eight-to-ten members of their staff to complete the LPI-Observer. The results of the 360-degree assessment were used to provide a framework for targeted, individualized mentoring provided by the nurse manager’s nursing director. After reviewing the entire report, the mentor and nurse manager discussed potential target areas for mentoring, considering those behaviors with the largest gap between self and observer scores and/or overall lower scores in a practice area. The nurse manager was also asked to seek additional clarity from her group of observers if needed. Individual mentoring sessions occurred monthly with each of the NM participants for a period of six months. Each session lasted one hour and included a similar format each time. In this study all of the nurse managers were women, with an average age of 43, an average of 21 years of nursing experience, management experience ranging from 3 to 15, all had at least a BSN degree.

KEY FINDINGS
Pre and post-test frequency scores for all five leadership practices increased, significantly so for Inspire, Challenge, Enable, and Encourage, and somewhat for Model (p < .06). Although demonstrating a similar positive trend in all five practices, the average of the observer scores did not reach a statistically significant level. More specifically, four of the six nurse manager improved in the one leadership practice that was their focal area for mentoring, one stayed the same, and the one who decreased indicated that she was harder on herself in the second administration than the first, realizing that she still had much room to improve. Comparison of the Observer scores revealed a positive change for three nurse managers, one remained the same, and two decreased. The author notes: “However, all six acknowledged they recognized their overall scores for all five leadership practices for both self and observer assessments increased post-mentoring” (p. 15).

An additional evaluation of the project consisted of confidential independent interviews by an experienced third-party and these demonstrated an overall positive response to the program by all of the nurse managers. The author notes: “The NMs identified increased awareness, focus, and clarity as insights into their leadership skills reflected by the 360 degree feedback. The individualized mentoring was well-received and the opportunity to have dedicated, structured time providing direction and support was described as helpful and valuable” (p. 16).

The author concludes:

This pilot project demonstrated that structured mentoring provided by a direct supervisor within the Exemplary Practices of Leadership conceptual framework can be an effective strategy in improving the leadership practices of frontline nurse managers. Time as a barrier to finding a mentor and sustaining an effective mentoring relationship can be overcome by incorporating structured mentoring into the existing relationship between nurse leaders and their direct reports. An evidence based 360 degree feedback tool provides a basis upon which to identify opportunities for growth and assists in targeting areas for mentoring. With planning and active participation by the mentor and mentees, the mentoring process can have an ongoing positive effect on the reporting relationship and the continued development of nurse leaders (p. 18).

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