Student Theses, Dissertations and Capstones

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing Education

Copyright Statement

All rights reserved. This publication is intended for use solely by faculty, students, and staff of Nova Southeastern University. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, now known or later developed, including but not limited to photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author or the publisher.


College of Nursing

First Advisor

Julia Aucoin

Second Advisor

Jacqueline Marshall

Third Advisor

Joan Kavanagh

Publication Date / Copyright Date



Nova Southeastern University


The qualitative interpretive phenomenological study investigates the lived experiences of novice senior nurse leaders, who have transitioned to new organizational roles within a single healthcare organization in the Southeast United States. Senior nurse leaders have complex responsibilities but may not have training adequate to lead masterfully at new organizational levels. This phenomenon is poorly understood. Senior nurse leaders who do not develop the appropriate interpersonal skills and systems thinking may experience a sense of role insufficiency. Yet, strong leadership among senior nurses is vital to the successful performance of healthcare organizations, given the current landscape of change and the rapidity with which change occurs. Given the above, one central research question is posed in this study: What are the lived experiences of novice senior nurse leaders who have transitioned into new roles as they professionally develop at a new organizational level? Based on a relativist ontology and a constructivist worldview, this study posits that novice senior nurse leaders create individual constructions of their lived experiences. Heidegger’s phenomenology, as a research tradition, offers a way to interpret the meaning of novice senior nurse leader’s role transition as it is experienced, grounded in the tenets of transitions theory (TT). Novice senior nurse leaders were purposively selected based on their familiarity with the two hospitals of one healthcare organization. Semi-structured interviews were conducted until data saturation was reached, and data was transcribed verbatim and analyzed with methods of hermeneutic analytics that encompassed intensive discourse, shared inquiry, and thematic analysis.




lived experience, senior nurse leaders, organizational role transitions



Download Full Text (1.6 MB)

Included in

Nursing Commons