The purpose of this research was to examine longitudinal outcomes of a leadership program for permanent and relief charge nurses from 1996 to 2012 using action research and Kouzes and Posner’s The Leadership Challenge conceptual framework.
Convenience samples of permanent charge nurses (CN), clinical nurses and relief CNs, who voluntarily responded to an invitation letter to participate in a study of self-reported CN leadership practices, completed the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI). Data was collected from charge nurses at the University of Colorado Hospital over three time periods (1996-2000, 2001-2007, and 2008-2012). A number of action interventions were conducted to redesign certain institutional processes and strengthen CN leadership.
In phase one, data analysis over four time periods reported that average LPI scores significantly went up for permanent CNs. However, while self-ratings improved in Model, Inspire and Challenge, the ratings from observers declined in Encourage, Enable and Model. A leadership development course was conducted during phase two, and post-LPI scores declined from pre-LPI scores “suggesting that when the reality of the role became apparent through practice, relief CNs modified their post-LPI ratings” (p. 442). That survey results in 2008 were not significantly different than those in 2000 was very as “encouraging because there had been so many significant institutional changes in the previous 8 years” (p. 443).