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Breaking from tradition: transforming leadership education in nursing

Faculty Advisor




leadership, higher education

Abstract (summary)

Leadership development is critical for nurses to be engaged in health system reform and transformation. Trends in nursing practice led to the development of an innovative senior consolidation course in our four year undergraduate nursing program. We hypothesized that providing opportunities for application of theoretical knowledge related to complex adaptive systems and leadership would enhance professional identity formation. We describe our experiences implementing a clinical course wherein nursing students are provided opportunities to explore and develop their leadership acumen within an undergraduate curriculum. We discuss how breaking from curricular tradition involved intentional use of pedagogy (transformational learning theory), innovative instructional design, and the formation of collaborative partnerships to provide a space for students to practice the cognitive, relational, and meaning making skills required for leadership development. We highlight the impact of this journey on students, faculty, and community partners as we forge ahead in planning next steps to determine the level of engagement of our graduates in health system design, advocacy, and stewardship.

Publication Information

Symonds-Brown, Holly J. and Milner, Margaret F. (2015) "Breaking from tradition: Transforming leadership education in nursing." Quality Advancement in Nursing Education - Avancées en formation infirmière, 1(3), article 2.


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