Pebbles Registered Nurse Clinical Leadership Development Programme


"For the purpose of this programme clinical leadership is defined as the continual development of required professional responsibility, knowledge, and skills that inform optimal, compassionate, safe nursing and midwifery practice. The goal of clinical leadership is to improve the quality of health outcomes for individuals, families, whanau, and communities." Nursing and Midwifery Professional Development Unit (PDU) 2012

Introduced in 2007, the Pebbles programme is a Waikato DHB professional development programme aimed at clinically-based registered nurses (RN). It introduces purposeful, development strategies for nurses to extend clinical leadership expertise and/or prepare for senior nurse roles. The programme recognises and builds on the contribution nurses make in the provision of safe, effective, quality healthcare, and in shaping and directing clinical care.


The programme utilises the Professional Development Framework for registered nurses to:

  • Develop the capacity to improve health outcomes for consumers through strengthening the nursing contribution to quality healthcare.
  • Develop registered nurse capability to lead and manage change in clinical practice
  • Support succession planning for registered nurses within the DHB

The programme provides a learning environment and is seen as a means of contributing to the development of nurses working within clinical environments. It is designed to promote clinical leadership for nurses wishing to remain in the clinical environment as well as those intending to move into formal leadership and management positions.

Expected outcomes for the RN attending Pebbles

  • Be able to demonstrate how knowledge regarding political, global and organisational influences on healthcare and nursing practice will be utilised in own practice
  • Be able to demonstrate increased knowledge and skills to facilitate the gathering and dissemination of knowledge; teaching and communicating; and responding to and leading change processes
  • Have the ability to articulate the patient safety and quality priorities of the organisation and demonstrate how these will be implemented in practice
  • Be able to articulate how increased knowledge and understanding of leadership theory will be applied in own practice
  • Development of a provisional plan for own career and professional development planning
  • RN expected to complete proficient or expert PDRP portfolio within 12 months of completing the Pebbles programme

Prospective Pebbles candidates are required to

  • Be a registered nurse with at least three years clinical experience and not currently in an appointed senior nurse position. Ideally nurses will have been in clinical practice for less than 10 years, but consideration will be given for those outside of that time frame.
  • Be employed by the Waikato DHB or employed in an area funded by the Waikato DHB
  • Demonstrate a commitment in own practice to developing leadership skills – eg is regarded for clinical expertise, engages in peer education, has completed preceptor training, leads/initiates/engages in quality projects, is a PRDP assessor
  • Be on the PDRP at proficient or expert level or committed to achieving  this.
  • Be nominated by their CNM/team leader
  • Be released by their clinical environment for four days over a four month period

The programme is offered two to three times a year. Nominations are called for through the CNM/team leader network with information also sent to nurse educators and nurse managers.

Contact Details

Lindsay Duncan
Ph: 021 549 807