Innovative nursing leadership in youth health.
Katherine M. Nelson, RN, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Graduate School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health, Victoria University of Wellington
Margaret Connor, RN, PhD, Research Fellow, Graduate School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health, Victoria University of Wellington
Gillian Alcorn, NP, MA (Applied) in Nursing, Youth Health Nurse Specialist, Vibe Youth Transition Service, Hutt Valley
Nelson, K. M., Connor, M., & Alcorn, G. (2009). Innovative nursing leadership in youth health. Nursing Praxis in New Zealand, 25(1), 27-37.
Along with introducing the New Zealand Primary Health Care Strategy the Ministry of Health funded 11 primary health care nursing innovation projects for three years. One of these was sited in the Hutt Valley District Health Board region at what was originally known as the Hutt Valley Youth Service and later named the Vibe service. The funding supported employment of a clinical nurse leader who later, during the course of the project, qualified as a Nurse Practitioner (NP). The dynamic leadership provided by the nurse extended beyond service boundaries benefiting policy decision making throughout the District Health Board region and contributing to youth health and service development nationally. In return for fostering such leadership Vibe gained access to new dimensions of youth health care. It became apparent that high calibre clinical leadership, a major component of the NP scope of practice in primary health care, improves outcomes for the clientele, increases satisfaction for the team members and provides a model for potential NPs wherever they are situated.
Key Words: Clinical leadership, innovation, youth health, nurse practitioner, primary health care.
The New Zealand Primary Health Care Strategy (Ministry of Health, 2001) acknowledges the contribution of clinical leadership to positive outcomes for clients of primary health care (PHC) facilities. Clinical leadership can emerge from any of the health disciplines in PHC. However, the Strategy vision and mission specifically recognises the potential contribution of nursing. Consistent with this vision, in 2003 the Ministry funded 11 nursing innovation projects and their evaluation. The Hutt Valley Youth Health Service (later named Vibe) was chosen to be one of these project sites. Vibe successfully advanced its remit during the project (Primary Health Care Nurse Evaluation Team, 2007). As the project aim and objectives concerned the development of a nurse position, success was tied intimately to the expanding sphere.... cont.