Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy




Dr. Mickey Kerr


Professional Practice Leadership (PPL) roles were introduced in response to health care professionals’ concerns about the loss of professional autonomy and other possible negative consequences on professional practice arising out of the widespread implementation of program management during health care restructuring. Despite the extensive implementation of the PPL role in Ontario, there is a paucity of empirical studies examining the impact of the PPL role. The main purpose of this study was to address this knowledge gap by determining the role of organizational power and personal influence in enabling the PPL to fulfill their role functions toward creating a positive professional practice environment for nurses. The study tests a theoretically based model that integrates PPL perceptions of manager support and organizational power with their own influence tactics to predict the achievement of PPL role functions and the impact these functions could have on nurses’ perceptions of the professional practice environment.

This dissertation is comprised of four main components: 1) a review of the literature describing professional practice; 2) the application of a theoretical framework to describe the PPL role; 3) the development of an instrument to enable measurement of the PPL role; and 4) the empirical testing of a conceptual model depicting the proposed relationship of the PPL role and nurses practice environments. Based on path analysis with the hypothesized model, organizational power had a direct and positive effect on PPL role functions and PPL influence. Although PPL influence had a direct and positive impact on PPL role function the proposed mediated effect of organizational power on PPL role function was not supported nor was the hypothesized moderated effect of manager support on PPL role function. Finally, there was a small but statistically significant, positive relationship between PPL role function and aggregated nurse perceptions of the practice environment.

As this was the first known research study specific to the Nursing PPL role in Ontario, the evidence generated from this study can be used to inform current practices regarding the design, implementation and evaluation of the PPL role as well as future research regarding the impact of professional practice leadership roles on staff, organizational and patient outcomes.

Included in

Nursing Commons