A partnership approach to leadership development for Directors of Nursing in Older People's services in Ireland - articulating the impact

Pauline Ford, Mary Wynne, Matthew Rice, Carol Grogan
Journal of Nursing Management 2008, 16 (2): 159-66
This paper outlines the approach undertaken by the Royal College of Nursing to design, deliver and evaluate a programme of leadership development for Directors of Nursing in Older People's services commissioned by the Nursing and Midwifery Planning Development Unit Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow. The programme was developed to support Nurse Directors of these services to enhance their leadership capabilities at a time of significant health service reform and investment. The programme was underpinned by the Office of Health Management's Nursing Competency Framework (Rush et al. 2000). The key influences for the programme were the significant contemporary policy and organizational developments directly experienced by Directors of Nursing. This paper will focus on the benefits for participants, commissioners and service users alike in adopting this kind of partnership approach to the design, delivery and evaluation of a bespoke RCN leadership development programme which combined the experience of RCN Gerontology alongside Leadership. Specifically, the paper focuses on the context of the commissioned work and the ways of working between the members of the delivery team and the commissioners, their roles and responsibilities and the importance of these interrelationships in the delivery of a development programme which would meet the specific needs of this key group of nurse leaders. The key learning and experiences of the Directors of Nursing are highlighted.

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