Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Marisa Wilson


Leaders of a rural Southwest Oklahoma hospital requested the development of an evidence-based program that could transform unit charge nurses into effective leaders in order to improve the leadership of direct care nurses. Nursing executive leadership discovered staff members were demonstrating high levels of stress, dissatisfaction, and burnout. Press-Ganey survey results revealed that staff felt they were not supported and did not believe nurses cared for patients' or other co-workers' well-being or safety. The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems outcome scores, which were below hospital and national desired benchmarks, revealed that patients were not satisfied with the care they received. Thus, the goal of this project was to use evidence to craft a program and evaluation plan that could be used by the hospital to develop stronger charge nurse leaders. A detailed examination of evidence supported the development of a program based on the relationship-based care (RBC) model. The RBC model is a transformational leadership development program that increases leadership skills and positive interaction between people. A full program was adapted from the RBC model and designed for the rural hospital. An evaluation plan to measure the short-and long-term objectives was developed. Implementation is expected to create social change by imparting charge nurses with leadership and relationship skills, thus empowering them with greater abilities to provide care. Benner's novice to expert and Watson's theory of caring models served as the foundation of the RBC model. The goal is to present the results at the hospital level and to disseminate the findings locally at professional nursing leadership conferences.

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