Date of Award



© 2021 Catherine Marin

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Gizelle Luevano

Second Advisor

Corey Berg

Third Advisor

Regina Rico


The role of the nursing clinical instructor has evolved alongside the nursing profession. Nursing clinical instructors are expected to teach, coach, empower, and lead future registered nurses throughout their academic prelicensure journey. Although nursing clinical instructors possess at least the minimum required educational and clinical experience for their role as instructors, it is unclear how they obtain their leadership skills. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to understand how nursing clinical instructors attain self-empowerment and develop leadership skills. The theoretical framework was the integrated model of leader traits, behaviors, and effectiveness (IMoLB) developed by Derue et al. (2011). The following research questions supported the study: 1. What are the consistent leadership traits that clinical instructors within the nursing profession perceive as essential to effectively teach and lead? 2. How do nursing clinical instructors perceive that they acquire the self-empowerment and leadership skills that shape their roles? Seven nursing clinical instructors participated in the study using two data collection instruments: (a) the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire, and (b) online interviews with the Zoom video conferencing platform. The REDCap platform was utilized to gather the MLQ survey data. Transcripts from the audio-recorded interviews were coded alongside the survey data to determine themes expressed by the nursing clinical instructors. Three prominent themes emerged from the qualitative analysis: (a) ensuring students are competent, (b) possessing confidence when leading students and other nursing clinical instructors, and (c) establishing connections with followers. The results from this study may assist higher education leaders in creating leadership education and mentoring programs for current and future nursing clinical instructors.


Ed.D. Dissertation