Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts

Chairperson (Advisor 1)

Dr. Kimora Kachelmyer

Reader (Advisor 2)

Dr. Charles Nuckles


There is a nationwide nursing shortage which has had an effect on Advanced Practice Nurses as well as staff RNs. One effect has been an increase in stress in work groups. The author's Neonatal Nurse Practitioner group has felt the effects of this shortage and associated stress. One consequence of this stress has been a loss of confidence in hospital and group leadership. The hospital has been working with the NNP group in an attempt to find solutions to the staff shortage and rebuild group morale.

The author undertook a study of leadership theory and current NNP group leadership models in an attempt to identify a model of NNP leadership that could serve as a model. The study took the form of a literature review and a mailed survey to NNPs across the United States.

The results of the survey seems to indicate there is very little defined group leadership roles for NNPs. When leadership roles are present they usually take the form of coordinator of group administrative needs and liaison with hospital and medical administration. there appears to be little authority to administer inherent in these roles.

Current theory on leadership questions whether leadership and management are different entities or complimentary essential roles. Situational leadership theory infers that the dynamics of each situation is unique and leadership style and role will vary depending on the current set of circumstances and individuals involved. One aspect of leadership theory that has emerged is that of the servant as leader. In the servant role the leader moves the group forward by serving the needs of the group and its member rather than trying to impose his/her own vision on the group.

The author found no definitive answer to whether or not change in group leadership can lead to group success. A manager may perform administrative duties yet not attend to perceived group needs. A self styled leader could attempt to impose a group vision however imposition of goals seldom meets with success. The personality type that is often attracted by the Advanced Practice Nursing role is usually a highly motivated, self-directed individual able to function well in an autonomous role. A group made up of individuals with this type of personality may very well benefit from the servant as leader model.

From review of current literature and the response to the author's survey it is apparent that more research in this area would be of interest. It would be helpful to further delineate hiring and management patterns, perceived need for leadership roles in NNP groups, and justifying a leadership role in NNP groups.


Available when logged in with your CSP email address and password.

For users outside of the CSP community, use the "Request Access" button to submit a request for full text.