The Leadership Mentoring in Nursing Research Program for Postdoctoral Nurses: A Development Paper

Thora B. Hafsteinsdottir*, Lisette Schoonhoven, Jan Hamers, Marieke J. Schuurmans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose The Dutch Nursing Science Faculties developed the Leadership Mentoring in Nursing Research program, which aims to increase the cadre of nurse scientists, strengthen nursing research within universities, and improve the career development of postdoctoral nurses. The purpose of this article was to describe the development of the leadership and mentoring program to foster its replication and to present a formative program evaluation.

Design The leadership mentoring program was developed using a three-step procedure: a systematic review of the literature on successful leadership programs was conducted; theoretical underpinnings were identified and input; and feedback was solicited from national and international experts and changes made, resulting in the final program, which was executed from February 2016-2018.

Findings A 2-year leadership and mentoring program for postdoctoral nurses working in research was developed and executed. Ten fellows completed the program and worked on their leadership development, developed their own research programs, and established research collaborations. Formative evaluations showed that the fellows highly valued the program sessions. We have learned several key lessons on how to structure, implement, and evaluate the leadership and mentoring program.

Conclusions Through the leadership and mentoring program, the fellows are immersed in concerted leadership development focusing on the academic leadership role. Formative evaluations showed that the program was valued by the fellows and that several key lessons were learned.

Clinical Relevance Through the leadership and mentoring program, 10 postdoctoral nurses strengthened their leadership in research and will further develop their role in healthcare research, clinical practice, and education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-445
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Nursing Scholarship
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


  • Leadership
  • leadership development
  • mentoring
  • nursing research
  • postdoctoral nurses
  • professional development
  • research development

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