The Frontline Clinical Manager Identifying Direct Reports' Level of Practice

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Abstract

Patricia Benner applied the Dreyfus Model of Skill Acquisition to describe and interpret skill acquisition and clinical judgment in nursing practice. Operational definitions for the 5 levels of her original Novice to Expert Theory were used by the study participants in a large Midwestern pediatric hospital to self-identify their level of practice. The frontline clinical managers of these direct care registered nurses (RNs) used the same tool to rate their direct reports. The aim of this portion of a larger study was to determine if the clinical manager's perception of their direct reports was the same as that of the RNs. The results of this study are being used by one study unit's clinical managers as the basis for implementing the Hersey and Blanchard Situational Leadership Model. The clinical managers work with their direct reports depending on the level of practice and the details of the task to be performed. One example is creating therapeutic relationships with each other and with families to ensure a safe environment for all.

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