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Nursing 449

NURS 449: Leadership in Professional Practice

Prerequisites: NURS 330, NURS 335, and NURS 444; Registered Nurse students

Pre- or Corequisites: NURS 362, NURS 435

Credit Hours: (5) Three lecture hours. Six hours Practicum

Detailed Description of Content of the Course

This course focuses on leadership style, management and leadership theories, change, quality management, fiscal and economic issues, personnel management, legal and ethical issues, healthcare organizations and policy, professionalism, political action, and career development. The clinical component of the course will be individualized to the needs of each student in order to meet course objectives. The clinical component activities may include job shadowing, workshops, mandatory research and political events, financial planning projects, and staff development projects such as mentoring.

The objectives and content of this course are derived from the AACN Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice and the School of Nursing’s philosophy and conceptual framework to facilitate the achievement of the program objectives.  Additionally, the major topics and skills covered in this course are common to major leadership and professional development nursing textbooks. Current research and advancement in theory and clinical practice also determine content.


Emphasis is placed on the following concepts/theories:

Nursing leadership

a. Nature of organizations
b. Leadership/management skills
c. Time management/quality management
d. Managing and initiating change
e. Decision making/problem solving
f. Group process/team building
g. Budgeting/finances
h. Recruiting/selecting staff
i. Conflict management
j. Human resource management skills
k. Performance appraisal/personnel problems
l. Delegation
m. Motivation/mentoring
n. Customer relations

Professional Dimensions

a. Professionalism/professional development
b. Nursing history
c. Public policy/economics
d. Political action
e. Career development
f. Nursing Regulations of the Code of Virginia
g. Recognition and intervention in known or suspected incidences of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of children or elderly and incapacitated adults
h. Evidence-based research and practice
i. Clinical judgment

Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The following teaching strategies will be employed:
Lectures, discussion, audio-visual tapes, overheads, and case studies.

Goals and Objectives of the Course

Upon successful completion of the course, the student will be able to:

1. Apply the nursing process in a leadership role to promote, protect, and restore clients’ holistic health.
2. Assume professional responsibility and accountability for implementation of standards of nursing practice in a nursing leadership role.
3. Apply health care and information technologies through the leadership role to enhance professional nursing practice.
4. Demonstrate critical thinking incorporating research findings in identifying changing health care needs of society, evaluating health care services, identifying trends that signal new directions for nursing practice within the health care delivery system, and discussing the influence of health care economics on the delivery of health care and on professional nursing practice.
5. Demonstrate caring through theory and evidence based nursing interventions in a leadership role.
6. Implement effective written, oral, and nonverbal communication skills in a nursing leadership role.
7. Applies ethical decision making processes in meeting health care needs.
8. Collaborate with clients and other health professionals to provide culturally sensitive, holistic health care to individuals, families, aggregates, and communities.
9. Assume responsibility for one’s own lifelong learning process through analysis of professionalism and implications for personal and professional development, including alternatives for achieving professional career goals and objectives, and sharing expertise with colleagues.
10. Exhibit leadership qualities by demonstrating knowledge of leadership and management principles related to professional nursing practice.
11. Participate in the legislative and policy-making process to promote the advancement of nursing and health care at the state, federal, or global level on issues relevant to health care delivery and professional nursing practice.

Assessment Measures

May include:

Tests; Exam; Quiz
Class participation; small group activities; discussion; homework
Portfolio
In-services, projects, and staff development presentations arising from the clinical
component of the course
Comprehensive exam
Project, Individual or Group
The course grade is determined by an evaluation of the extent to which the student meets the stated course objectives. Students must have a minimum of 75% (“C”) in theory, measured through testing. Other written or class participation work will be included in the final grade after the minimum 75% (“C”) has been attained through testing.

Other Course Information

Additional charges may apply to attend mandatory events.

Honor Code: By accepting admission to Radford University, each student makes a commitment to understand, support, and abide by the University Honor Code without compromise or exception. Violations of academic integrity will not be tolerated. This class will be conducted in strict observance of the Honor Code. Refer to your Student Handbook for details.

Students with Disabilities: If you are seeking classroom accommodations under the Americans With Disabilities Act, you are required to register with the Disability Resource Office (DRO). The DRO is located in Room 32, Tyler Hall, telephone 540-831-6350. To receive academic accommodations for this class, please obtain the proper DRO forms and meet with me no later than the second week of the semester.

Attendance: For Attendance policies and other course-related requirements, see School of Nursing Undergraduate Student Handbook and Course Description.

Review and Approval

September 2001 Undergraduate Curriculum Janet Hardy Boettcher, Revision Director
February 2011, Kim Carter, Director