The impact and translation of postgraduate leadership education on practice in healthcare
Background Recommendation’s from key health reports support leadership development. There is considerable work published around formal leadership development education but very little that demonstrates the effectiveness of formal postgraduate leadership education in healthcare. Aim To explore how participants who completed a postgraduate leadership subject in a regional University in Australia have applied content and learning to their own leadership and practice. Methods A descriptive qualitative study was conducted to explore comprehensively what and how participants who had previously completed the subject translated the knowledge into practice. Data was collected through group interviews. Thematic content analysis was conducted. Findings Three major themes emerged; ‘Learning to Lead’, ‘Academic Study’, and ‘Teamwork.’ Participants indicated raised confidence and political savvy to collaborate and engage with others at micro, meso and macro levels of their organisation. Discussion The impact and application of leadership knowledge was demonstrated through translation of skills and behaviors learned to the healthcare context. This included raised self-awareness and enhanced behaviours and practices related to organisational culture, interpersonal relationships, processes and systems. Conclusion There is clear evidence of impact and translation of knowledge and skill into healthcare practice through completing a university postgraduate leadership subject.