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Enhancing Success in Transition Service Coordinators: Use of Transformational Leadership

Rearick, Ellen MS, RN, CCM

doi: 10.1097/01.PCAMA.0000291427.99728.4b

Purpose The lifespan of children with special healthcare needs has been extended because of improved technology and medical advances. Successful transition to the adult arena of healthcare, social services, and education by adolescents with special healthcare needs (ASHCN) is lacking. The transition service coordinator (TSC) is a multifaceted role of advanced practice nursing that provides highly specialized transition services to adolescents with special healthcare needs. The use of key concepts from the transformational leadership theory may improve healthcare outcomes.

Primary Practice Settings This article applies to pediatric and adult primary care and case management services that serve adolescents with special healthcare needs.

Conclusion Employing key concepts of transformational leadership theory will enhance the success of the TSC to improve both collaboration among stakeholders in the transitional team and young adults' transition to the world of adult services.

Implications for Case Management Practice 
  • Enhanced communication resulting in improved sharing of information, understanding of the stakeholder roles, and provision of formal linkages between pediatric and adult medical providers is a significant outcome affecting the ASHCN.
  • Improved collaboration will produce a smooth transition for the ASHCN to the world of adult social services, education, and employment.
  • Incorporating the transformational leadership dimensions of idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration will enhance the ability of the TSC to improve collaboration among stakeholders in the transitional team and the quality of services for the ASHCN.

Ellen Rearick, MS, RN,CCM, is an instructor in Community Health Nursing and Leadership in Nursing at Worcester State College in Worcester, Massachusetts. Previous to teaching, she practiced in community-based programs including home care, adult foster care, and a case management program for individuals with special healthcare needs.

Address correspondence to Ellen Rearick, MS, RN, CCM, 69 Walker Road, Wales, MA 01081 (

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.