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Critical Pedagogy – undergraduate preparation for clinical professional leadership

McDonald, T.T A., 2019

Nursing World-2019 Conference. Melbourne, Australia


Background: Graduates from Bachelor of Nursing degrees emerge with a broad understanding of the field in which they propose to practice. However, the realities of organisational culture, inter-professional tensions and the status and profile of nursing in clinical workplaces can be an unexpected challenge. For most graduates, it will be several years before an adequate understanding of the highly competitive and political world that drives and controls their industrial and professional leadership opportunities is reached.

Objective: To test the value of critical pedagogy when applied to the development of leadership and management capacity of undergraduate students of nursing.

Methods: This presentation reports on the results of qualitative research around a critical pedagogy undertaken with 218 final year undergraduate degree students over a 14-week semester. In that simulation, successful completion of this unit of study depended upon their individual ethics in competition, their ability to devise astute political strategies and undertake sensitive interpersonal dealings with the general community and colleagues.

Results: e primary result was support for the notion that leadership and management can be learned by those not ‘born to it’.

Conclusions: Employing critical pedagogy in a simulation of the leadership and management context of professional nursing and health care challenged students to become aware of the environment in which they will seek employment. Students overwhelmingly reported feeling that they were prepared as a result of this learning experience, to engage more fully with the leadership and management aspects of their professional role.

CITATION McDonald, T. T. A. (2019) Critical Pedagogy – undergraduate preparation for clinical professional leadership. World Congress on Nursing Education & Practice (Nursing World-2019). Melbourne, Australia. December 2-4,


Last updated 18/11/2019
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