Parallel to the shortage of clinical nurses is the diminishing pool of nurses who aspire to leadership roles in healthcare. The authors of this paper report on the evaluation of an intervention administered to a group of Canadian nurses designed to assist participants to value leadership and to develop knowledge, skills and attitudes required for effective leadership. A one-group pre-test, post-test quasi-experimental design guided the study. All participants received a five-day residential leadership development intervention. Participants acted as their own controls and were assessed, both immediately before intervention implementation and three months later, on the self- and observer-reported leadership practices as well as self-reported levels of burnout. Results indicated that a concentrated, residential leadership development intervention is effective in strengthening leadership behaviours performed by both already established and aspiring nurse leaders from the perspective of observers, but not from self-reported assessments. No significant changes in self-reported burnout levels were found. It is possible to deliver leadership development interventions to both established and aspiring nurse leaders that result in fairly rapid improvements in observed leadership practices.
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