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Developing a Leadership Laboratory for Nurse Managers Based on Lived Experiences: A Participatory Action Research Model for Leadership Development

Mackoff, Barbara L. EdD; Glassman, Kimberly PhD, RN, NEA-BC; Budin, Wendy PhD, RN-BC, FAAN

Journal of Nursing Administration: September 2013 - Volume 43 - Issue 9 - p 447–454
doi: 10.1097/NNA.0b013e3182a23bc1

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.

Author Affiliations: Director, Leadership Laboratory (Dr Mackoff); Senior Vice President, Patient Care Services, and Chief Nursing Officer (Dr Glassman); Director of Nursing Research (Dr Budin), NYU Langone Medical Center, New York.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Dr Mackoff, NYU Langone Medical Center, One Columbus Place, S23E, New York, NY 10019 (

© 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins