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CHAPTER 9. DISCUSSION, RECOMMENDATIONS AND REFLECTIONS

9.1. Introduction

This final chapter commences with an overview of the thesis to this point as a basis for the discussion, recommendations and reflections on the findings that follow. The chapter contains insights gained through this research about clinical nurse leadership and identifies opportunities for future research as well as the challenges and limitations of the project. The chapter presents recommendations for local stakeholders, including management and Clinical Nurse Leaders (CNLs), the nursing directorate and nurse educators in the District Health Board (DHB) which arise from the research. The challenge of conducting research in the same organisation where you are employed is examined with reflections drawing the thesis to a close.

9.2.

Thesis Overview

This action research project examined the attributes and features of the role of the CNL within one District Health Board in New Zealand. The research objectives were twofold: to explore how the evolution of the CNL role could be further informed; and to establish what CNLs considered would support improvement for them in their role. The questions from these objectives were what is the role and who should define it? The study was based on the principles of action research; it involved participation, and had a strong emphasis on democracy and action. Seven nurses, active in the Clinical Nurse Leader role and from a variety of practice settings, consented to be part of the research. They would define the role and add to the discussion on its evolution and support.

The project was divided into two phases. Phase One was a face-to-face interview with each of the CNLs about their experience as a clinical nurse leader. Phase Two involved these seven CNLs joining with me to form an action research group. This group met on a monthly basis for ten months to work as an action research group with the data derived from the interviews.

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