Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

Kelly Larrabee Robke, DNP, RN, MBA, MS

Kelly Larrabee Robke
  • Committee Chair Name & Credentials:
    Bonita Pilon, PhD, RN
  • Committee Member Name & Credentials:
    Catherine Ivory, PhD, RN, RN-BC, RNC-OB, NEA-BC, FAAN


DNP Project Abstract

Leadership for Innovation in Nursing

Innovation in healthcare requires diverse experience and skillsets beyond clinical care delivery. Leaders of innovation teams face challenges that are unique and distinct to other traditional areas of leadership. Nursing leadership competencies may require expanded skills and expertise to gain competence and confidence in leading innovation.This project aimed to develop an initial understanding of prioritized skills and expertise required for leading innovation of nursing care delivery using principles of Complexity Leadership Theory (CLT).

Nurse leaders were interviewed to discuss innovative approaches using guidance structured by the framework tenets of Complexity Leadership Theory (CLT). Deductive thematic analysis was used to identify the frequency of CLT theme occurrence. Descriptive statistics were used to report project findings.

Twenty-five subject interviews produced a total of 945 identified themes that aligned with CLT tenets. Frequently identified themes included innovativeness (N=194; 7.8 average response per subject, SD +/- 4.1), culture (n=149; average of 6.0 (SD +/-3.7) and climate (n=133; 5.3 (SD+/-4.9). The themes of agility, ambiguity, and risk and learning did not achieve any observed themes identified in subject interviews. Nineteen areas for consideration were identified for consideration as a framework for nursing innovation leader competency.

Implications for Practice
Results of this project identified value in selected areas of complexity leadership theory related to behaviors and processes used by innovation leaders in nursing. Other areas were deprioritized for use or in understanding and require further assessment.