An Exploratory Descriptive Study of Advanced Practice Nurses as Nurse Leaders
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Healthcare is provided in a complex dynamic system that requires leadership at all levels and positions in order to achieve the goal of safe, efficient, high quality care to all Canadians. Advanced practice nurses (APNs) are expected to demonstrate leadership. The purpose of this study was to explore APNs’ perceptions of their leadership and how it contributes to positive healthcare outcomes. A qualitative descriptive methodology informed by a leadership framework was used to explore participants’ perceptions. Fourteen APNs participated in semi-structured interviews. Content analysis was used and two themes were identified from the data: Patient-focused leadership and Organization and system-focused leadership. These two themes are further described through leadership domains that house leadership capabilities and outcomes. The findings of this study can be used to clearly articulate APN leadership and its contribution to patients and families, nurses and other health care providers, organizations and the healthcare system.