Strengthening the nursing and midwifery unit manager role: an interim programme evaluation

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AimsAn interim evaluation was conducted on the professional development components of the New South Wales (NSW) Health ‘take the lead’ (‘ttl’) programme, an initiative aimed at enhancing nursing/midwifery unit managers' (N/MUM) skills.BackgroundPrevious research has highlighted the importance of strong nurse leaders, and shown that training programmes may assist in improving leadership skills. The NSW Nursing and Midwifery Office (NaMO) developed the ‘ttl’ programme for N/MUMs with the intention of improving hospital quality by strengthening nurse leadership. The programme had three strands, with the professional development modules a key component.MethodSemi-structured interviews were conducted with 17 participants who had completed components of the ‘ttl’ programme. The interviews explored participants' perceptions of the programme, and suggestions for improvement. Qualitative analysis was conducted on the transcribed interviews.ResultsThe N/MUMs reported feeling increasingly empowered, knowledgeable and supported as a result of attending the ‘ttl’ workshops.ConclusionsThe results suggest that the studied components of the ‘ttl’ programme may be effective in assisting nurse leaders gain new leadership skills and institute positive changes in the nursing work environment.Implications for Nursing ManagementLeadership programmes such as ‘ttl’ may provide an effective tool for improving N/MUM performance and role confidence.

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