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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Clinical Nurse Leader stories: A phenomenological study about the meaning of leadership at the bedside
by Sorbello, Barbara C., Ph.D., Florida Atlantic University, 2010, 173; 3407171
Abstract (Summary)

A new role has been developed in nursing named the Clinical Nurse LeaderSM (CNL®). This new role positions the masters prepared nurse at the patient's bedside to oversee care coordination and serve as a resource for the clinical nursing team, and to bridge the gaps in health care delivery to better meet the needs of patients in all health care delivery settings. Since this is a new role, there is a paucity of research that has been conducted surrounding these nurses. A phenomenological investigation examined the lived experiences of CNLs® to gain understanding about the meaning of leadership at the point of care and to discover the unique expressions of living caring that CNLs® experience as they embark upon this new role in the acute care hospital setting.

Ten CNL® participants were interviewed for this study. Their stories about patient situations and relationships with other disciplines were shared with rich description and emotion. Hermeneutic analysis of the text revealed six essential themes. Six essential themes emerged revealing the essence of leading at the bedside and living caring in the CNL ® role: navigating safe passage, pride in making a difference, bringing the bedside point of view, knowing the patient as person, helping nurses to grow, and CNLs® needing to be known, understood and affirmed.

Taken as a whole through a synthesis of the themes, the understanding of the meaning of leading to CNLs® includes keeping their patients safe, being proud of their accomplishments and the respect gained from others, as well as being a helper and advocate for other nurses. This is accomplished through their privileged place at the bedside, where they come to know their patients as person and work hand in hand with nursing colleagues. When CNLs® are supported by management, and their roles are planned and understood, they are more fully able to optimally practice and live and grow in caring.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Boykin, Anne
School: Florida Atlantic University
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-B 71/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Nursing
Keywords: Care coordination, Clinical nurses, Health care delivery
Publication Number: 3407171
ISBN: 978-1-109-75067-6
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