Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Sue Bell


Military health care organizations need competent frontline managers with knowledge and skills to manage health care complexity and ensure evidence-based practice. With systematic, planned turn over of military managers, more civilian managers are needed to fill permanent positions in military hospitals. The purpose of this project was to provide a better understanding of the competencies perceived by nurse managers at a military medical center and whether they differed by military or civilian status. The American Organization of Nurse Executives competency model and framework provided the theoretical framework for the project. The design was nonexperimental, with an observational, descriptive, cross-sectional approach. The Chase Nurse Manager Competency Instrument was used to collect data from 53 military and civilian nurse managers who ranked the top 10 competencies needed for effective leadership. The top competencies chosen by the managers were the knowledge and ability to use effective communication, decision making, problem solving, nursing practice standards, time management, and effective staffing strategies. Using t test statistics, only minimal differences were identified between military and civilian nurse managers' perceptions of the top competencies, which allows the medical center to create one integrated leadership curriculum to assist in the development of a competent, unified leadership team of civilian and military managers. Social change to improve patient outcomes can occur within military health care organizations by assessing and developing leadership competencies in all nurse managers to ensure reliable cultures of safety, quality, and value-based productivity within their military hospital environments.