OBJECTIVE: The aim of the pilot study was to design an innovative model of leadership development, Leadership Laboratory (LL), grounded in the lived experiences and peer best practices of 43 cross-disciplinary nurse managers.
BACKGROUND: The Institute of Medicine/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation study, The Future of Nursing, reinforces the need to prepare nurses for leadership positions.
METHODS: A 1-year participatory action research study was designed to develop 3 LLs involving nurse managers as participants, co-creators, and evaluators of the unique learning format.
RESULTS: Analysis of qualitative and quantitative data revealed consistent and significantly positive results in leadership skill areas in all 3 LLs. Participants identified elements that distinguished LLs from traditional seminars and trainings sessions, including opportunities to gain from peer-to peer consultation, strategies, and support.
CONCLUSIONS: Participants in the 1-year pilot demonstrated significant learning based on postsession and postproject assessments of the LLs. Data also described the unique attributes of a peer-driven approach to leadership development.