Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

School Name

Donna and Allan Lansing School of Nursing and Health Sciences



Major Advisor

Dr. Linda Cain

Second Advisor

Dr. John T Byrd

Third Advisor

Dr. Steve Hyndman

Fourth Advisor

Kathy Neuner


Current research reveals that staff nurses are routinely placed into front-line leadership roles with little formal preparation. The purpose of this project was the development, implementation, and evaluation of a pilot nurse leader development program for nurse leaders at a small community hospital located in Clarksville, Indiana. This study consisted of a quasi-experimental design, with the intervention consisting of a leadership course delivered to a convenience sample of nurses in managerial positions. Leadership attributes was quantified, both pre/post interventions, through the administration of the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI), a Likert-scaled survey. The LPI was administered to the nurse leaders, their subordinates, peers, and superiors, in order that a three hundred and sixty-degree perspective to be obtained. Data gathered from the pre-intervention administration drove the curriculum of the intervention, tailoring the course to the needs of the participants. The intervention consisted of a nurse leadership class offered by the investigator, a seasoned nurse leader. The program was delivered in one-hour, bi-weekly classes, offered over a two-month period. All study participants completed the LPI at the beginning of the study and following completion of the leadership course. The LPI captured both positive and negative feedback regarding leadership behaviors of the nurse leaders from the perspective of their peers, direct reports, observers, and supervisors. Development of the study intervention was a curriculum aimed at assisting the nurse leader in maximizing individual strengths while developing strategies to overcome weaknesses. Pre- and post-data collection of the LPI assessments was used to evaluate the effectiveness of the program.