Date of Completion


Embargo Period



nursing, leadership development, bundle

Major Advisor

E. Carol Polifroni

Associate Advisor

Elizabeth Beaudin

Associate Advisor

Tim Porter O'Grady

Associate Advisor

Cheryl Tatano Beck

Field of Study



Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


Generation of a Nursing Leadership Development Bundle

Lee Ann Galuska, PhD

University of Connecticut, 2013


Nurses are expected to have the skills and competencies to lead as well as partner in the process of healthcare transformation. This dissertation contributes to the understanding of strategies to enhance the development of leadership competency in nurses. Three metasyntheses were conducted using the Noblit and Hare (1988) method and provide holistic, synthesized translations of the experiences of nurses at all levels with leadership development. The first study explored nurses’ experiences with formal education for their leadership role and offers a description of how the content and delivery of formal education has contributed to nursing leadership learning outcomes (Galuska, 2013a). The second study explored the contribution of guided experiential learning to leadership competency development and offers insight into how exposure to relevant learning experiences under the guidance of a skilled mentor facilitates development (Galuska, 2012a). The third study explored the effect of culture on the development of competency in nursing leadership and provides a synthesized understanding of how context hinders or supports leadership growth (Galuska, 2012b). A fourth study used a mixed methods design to study nurses’ perceptions of the contribution of professional journals to their lifelong leadership learning and the content of those journals to support ongoing development (Galuska, 2012c). A fifth study used a mixed methods design to explore leadership development in nursing students and nurses in a dedicated education unit (DEU) clinical experience. Study findings of a significant improvement in leadership behaviors in students after a DEU experience suggest that innovative, integrated learning approaches enhance leadership competency.

Recommendations from the combination of studies culminate in proposal of a “bundle” or integrated set of interventions for nursing leadership development at all levels and begin to elucidate a way to respond to the call for nurse leaders. Radical transformation of the system of nursing education, creation of opportunities within the healthcare system to cultivate leaders, and transformation of practice environments to support healthy growth will enable a future for nursing that can lead change and advance the health and well-being of a nation.