Process evaluation of a programme to empower community nurse leadership

Ruth G. M. Vogel*, Gerrie J. J. W. Bours, Teuni H. Rooijackers, Silke F. Metzelthin, Petra M. G. Erkens, Erik van Rossum, Sandra M. G. Zwakhalen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BackgroundThe Nurses in the Lead (NitL) programme consists of a systematic approach and training to 1) empower community nurses in implementing evidence, targeted at encouraging functional activities of older adults, and 2) train community nurses in enabling team members to change their practice. This article aims to describe the process evaluation of NitL.MethodsA mixed-methods formative process evaluation with a predominantly qualitative approach was conducted. Qualitative data were collected by interviews with community nurses (n=7), focus groups with team members (n=31), and reviewing seven implementation plans and 28 patient records. Quantitative data were collected among community nurses and team members (N=90) using a questionnaire to assess barriers in encouraging functional activities and attendance lists. Data analysis was carried out through descriptive statistics and content analysis.ResultsNitL was largely executed according to plan. Points of attention were the use and value of the background theory within the training, completion of implementation plans, and reporting in patient records by community nurses. Inhibiting factors for showing leadership and encouraging functional activities were a lack of time and a high complexity of care; facilitating factors were structure and clear communication within teams. Nurses considered the systematic approach useful and the training educational for their role. Most team members considered NitL practical and were satisfied with the coaching provided by community nurses. To optimise NitL, community nurses recommended providing the training first and extending the training. The team members recommended continuing clinical lessons, which were an implementation strategy from the community nurses.ConclusionsNitL was largely executed as planned, and appears worthy of further application in community care practice. However, adaptations are recommended to make NitL more promising in practice in empowering community nurse leadership in implementing evidence.

Original languageEnglish
Article number127
Number of pages10
JournalBMC Nursing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2021


  • Leadership
  • Community health nurses
  • Implementation science
  • Evaluation


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