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NU7020 Leadership, Quality Improvement and Governance (10 ECTS)

Learning Outcomes

Following completion of this module the student should be able to:


Critically evaluate current developments in the health care system.


Analyse the impact of policy and policy formation on service provision.


Critically evaluate the application of leadership theories to clinical practice


Discuss how changes theories apply to a change initiative in owns area of practice


Evaluate quality improvement models and strategies and their application to health care


Analyse the relationship between change and quality improvement in healthcare


Evaluate the application of patient safety principles and human factor engineering  in health care


Examine their own thinking and practices and reform these practices in light of new knowledge and insights

Methods of Teaching and Student Learning

Blended learning.

Module Learning Aims & Rationale

Clinical leadership and quality improvement are essential to clinical practice and health care, as evidenced in reports such as Quality & Fairness (2001); Clinical nurse/midwife Specialist role resource pack (2008); Future Health - A Strategic Framework for Reform of the Health Service 2012 – 2015; and Commission on Patient Safety & Quality Assurance (2008). The rationale for the module is to provide nurses with an understanding of the structure and functioning of the health services in Ireland and to explore the impact of leadership and quality improvement strategies on improving the provision of services. The aim of this module is to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to advanced practice roles so participants may make an effective contribution to the attainment of excellence in client /patient care, and to the development of both health policy and health services.

Module Content

  • Overview of health care structure, developments in health care & funding
  • Analysis of health policies e.g. Future Health - A Strategic Framework for Reform of the Health Service 2012 – 2015, implications for practice, strategies for service provision
  • Application of leadership theories to the health care workplace (Leadership for 21st century healthcare
  • Delegation in health care work environments 
  • Working in groups and team building in health care
  • Challenges in change management in healthcare
  • Application of change management theories
  • Nature and concept of quality
  • Quality improvement process in health care;
  • Audit, benchmarking and standard setting e. HIQA guidelines
  • Human factors & patient safety principles in health care

Recommended Reading List

Indicative Resources - additional references will be provided by module lecturers.

  • Alaszewski, A. and Brown, P. (2012) Making Health Policy A Critical Introduction. Polity: Cambridge, U.K.
  • Brady, Anne-Marie (2010) Leadership and Management in the Irish Health Service Gill & MacMillan:  Dublin.
  • Curtis, Elizabeth A. and Redmond, Richard A. (2009) Delegation: A Short Primer for the Practising Nurse. Blackhall Publishing: Blackrock, Co. Dublin.
  • Department of Health and Children. (2010) Report of the Expert Group on Resource Allocation and Financing in the Health Sector.   Dublin: Government Publications.
  • Department of Health (2008) Building a culture of safety: Report of the commission on patient safety and quality assurance Dublin: Stationary Office
  • Department of Health and Children (2012) Future Health - A Strategic Framework for Reform of the Health Service 2012 – 2015 Dublin: Stationary Office
  • Department of Health and Children (2012) Health In Ireland: Key Trends 2012 Dublin: Stationary Office
  • Department of Health & Children (2009) The Commission of Investigation Leas Cross Nursing Home: Final report Available (accessed 1st  June 2011)
  • Fortune, PM, Davis, M. Hanson, J. & Philips, B. (2012) Human Factors in the health care setting : A pocket guide for clinical instructors Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell
  • Health Information Quality Authority (2007) National Quality Standards for Residential Care Settings for the Older Person Available
  • Linstead, S., Fulop, L and Lilley, S. (2009) Management and Organization A Critical Text. 2nd Edition. Palgrave Macmillan: London.
  • Martin, Vivien, Charlesworth, Julie and Henderson, Euan (2010) Managing in Health and Social Care. 2nd Edition. Routledge: London.
  • Marquis B.L. & Huston C.J. (2012) Leadership roles and Management functions in nursing: Theory and application Wolters Kluwer Heath/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia
  • Olsen, J.A (2009) Principles in Health Economics and Policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Sullivan, E. and Decker, P.  (2009) Effective Leadership and Management in Nursing 7th Edition. Pearson Education: New Jersey.