An exploration of personal initiative theory in the role of consultant nurses

S. Redfern, Samantha Coster, A. Evans, P. Dewe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The aim in this paper is to investigate the contribution personal initiative theory makes in understanding the consultant nurse role. The role was introduced in the UK in 2000 to improve patient outcomes, clinical leadership and retention of experienced clinicians. A larger study used a multi-method approach to collect quantitative and qualitative data from focus groups, interviews and a questionnaire administered nationally at two time points. Findings from longitudinal telephone interviews with 30 consultant nurses are the focus of this paper. Three consultant nurses were selected as case studies to examine the potential of personal initiative theory when applied to new nursing roles. The activities of two of the three demonstrated a high level of personal initiative in the job. They persisted in overcoming problems faced in improving practice. The third scored lower: she emerged as a reactive conformist and less likely than the other two to pursue initiatives of her own. Personal initiative theory has potential as a framework for evaluating the consultant nurse role, although further research is needed to test it. The longitudinal analysis revealed a determination to stay in the job and overcome difficult challenges when consultants show initiative and are making progress in achieving change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-453
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Research in Nursing
Issue number5
Early online date30 Mar 2010
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2010


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