Describing the leadership capabilities of advanced practice nurses using a qualitative descriptive study
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Aim: The aim of this study is to explore advanced practice nurses' perceptions of their leadership capabilities. Design: A qualitative descriptive methodology informed by a well-established leadership framework was used to explore advanced practice nurses' perceptions of their leadership. Methods: Purposive sampling of advanced practice nurses working in tertiary acute care facilities in Eastern Canada was employed. Data sources included face-to-face interviews and document analysis. Fourteen advanced practice nurses participated in two audio-taped semi-structured interviews from March 2013-January 2014. Data were transcribed and analysed using NVIVO 10 software and content analysis. Results: Two main themes were identified: "Patient-focused leadership" and "organization and system-focused leadership". These two themes are further described through leadership domains and capabilities that clearly articulate advanced practice nursing leadership and its contribution to improving the care environment for patients and families, nurses and other healthcare providers, organizations and the healthcare system.