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similar challenges but to a differing degree, with the need to lead their teams and educate them on their personal safety when visiting patients. CNLs will need to have a myriad of skills within the cost competitive model caring for a society of ever increasing complexities whilst providing framing, interpretation and support for the nurses they lead.

1.6. Summary

In this thesis I document all stages of the action research project I began in October 2005 when I set out to explore clinical leadership in nursing within a New Zealand setting. In the first chapter I have identified my objective for this study, plus the purpose and reasoning behind the inquiry and approach chosen. I have offered a general explanation of the role and where it is positioned within a DHB. In addition, the relationship of the role to the delivery of health care, the nursing profession and the practice domain is discussed.

In Chapter 2, I include and expand on the indicative literature on leadership in nursing and on clinical leadership. The relationship the literature review has to the research inquiry is discussed as well as how the review findings relate to the aim of this project. The value this inquiry would have to the existing body of knowledge is also considered.

Chapter 3 details the action research methodology, opening with an overview of qualitative and quantitative research. The diverse origins of action research and agreed features of this approach are described. Action research and its application to nursing inquiry in general and its suitability in researching the role of CNL are discussed.

Chapter 4 examines the methods and processes relating to the application of action research to the data collection and analysis phases. The two phases of the research (interview and action research meetings) are introduced. The recruitment of the participants and the processes attached to the interviews and action research group meetings are presented. The chapter also explores issues of ethics, rigour and the author’s worldview. This includes the perspective of conducting research within an organisation where you are employed.

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