Online Course: Leadership in Healthcare

Elevate Health

Program Description

Online Course: Leadership in Healthcare

Elevate Health


Leadership in Healthcare

Healthcare organizations are difficult to manage. Different logics and value systems are at play. Leadership of both professionals and managers are therefore of great importance when aiming to ensure high-quality patient care, employee satisfaction, and overall organizational effectiveness. This is particularly true for frontline leaders who are the key interface between care, cure, and managerial control.

But have you ever tried to articulate a definition of frontline clinical leadership in one concise sentence? We’d argue it can’t really be done. Because leadership is such a broad, complex and contested topic, it often holds a different meaning for different people.

This is part of its charm. At the end of this leadership development course, you will be able to build your own leadership philosophy and articulate its value in your daily work life as a healthcare professional, manager, educator or researcher. We see (clinical) leadership as a modus operandi.

We don’t believe leadership in healthcare is tied to position, or confined to the grand heroic gestures of a select few. We see leadership as a joint effort, emerging from and embedded in everyday practice. It is a way of thinking and being, rather than a collection of generic tools to draw on. For us, leadership in healthcare is a practice, ongoing and relational, where context is integral, and people are core.

This online healthcare leadership course is inextricably linked to our leadership research in Utrecht, the Netherlands. The research and online course exist in a self-perpetuating loop, where the one informs the other. We rely on you as a participant to ground the content we present to develop their leadership and to contribute to theory-building in the field of healthcare leadership research.

Your daily work and cases of other health professionals are central in this course. It is only through these that the theory of leadership and management will come alive and help us to create better patient care. In this 20-week online medical course, we cover the following topics: leadership styles, models and theories, role of power and authority, management vs. leadership, hybrid managers, role of institutional logics, 'professional work' vs. 'organization work', learning from failure, collaborative work and quality improvement and the 'dark side' of leadership.

In this multi-disciplinary course we let you recognize, experience, theorize, understand, question and develop (clinical) leadership practices in the context of your everyday work as a healthcare professional, researcher or manager. We support you in making the next step in your healthcare leadership career and expand your network. This online health course can be combined with a one week face to face Utrecht Summer School course in week 34 (21st-25th of August).

Learning Objectives

By the end of the course, you should be able to:

  • Re-examine your thinking on leadership in healthcare
  • Build an adaptive and responsive leadership mindset and practice for dynamic and complex healthcare contexts
  • Take the next step in your healthcare leadership career
  • Contribute to enhancing quality of care and patient safety in your healthcare organization
  • Understand the added value of a clinically and managerially strong healthcare leader
  • Use and explain the basic terminology and principles used in healthcare management, leadership and leadership research
  • Keep a work diary and shadow a healthcare leader
  • Explain the concepts of habitus, hybrid management, and institutional logics
  • Sharpen your practical wisdom and judgment
  • Connect with peers and wider networks to collaborate in healthcare improvement
  • Characterize and describe the daily work of a healthcare leader in the organization you work in
  • Read and elaborate on managerial and leadership research related to healthcare organizations

Course Topics

  • Introduction to leadership in healthcare
  • Hybrids as frontline leaders: on professional and managerial work
  • Developing leadership: on habitus and shadowing
  • Different logic, one organization: on strategy and process in healthcare
  • Healthcare leadership in action: on failing and (organizational) learning

Learning Methods

The whole course will take place online, in multi-disciplinary groups of no more than 15 participants. There will be two planned (either via Skype or in Utrecht) meetings with the course supervisor. One meeting will take place half way the course to discuss progress and plan shadowing assignment. The other meeting will be the final assessment in which we discuss the final shadowing report.

The following learning methods will be used:

  • Online reviews of (peer-reviewed) articles, videos, presentations and project proposals
  • Papers and exercises, including providing feedback on fellow students
  • Moderated online discussions
  • Group tutorials, with feedback and guidance from your tutor either online or through Skype
  • Assessments
  • Shadowing

Course Deadlines

Week 0
Sunday before start date - introduce yourself

Week 1-2
Sunday – complete Learning Unit 1

Week 2-3
Sunday – complete Learning Unit 2

Week 4-5
Sunday – complete Learning Unit 3

Week 6
Catch up time and session with supervisor discussing shadowing plan via Skype or in Utrecht Week 7-8
Sunday – complete Learning Unit 4

Week 9-10
Sunday – complete Learning Unit 5

Week 11-15
Shadowing assignment & article writing

Week 16-17

Week 18-19
Article writing
Final assessment with supervisor (Skype or Utrecht location)


As Leadership in Health Care is a university course, it is covered by academic accreditation. Upon successful completion of this course, you will receive a recognized certificate from University Medical Center Utrecht.

Entry Requirements

To enrol in this course, you need:

  • At least a BSc in a healthcare-related profession, plus an MA, MSc, or MD qualification
  • To be currently working or studying in a hospital or other healthcare institution
  • Sufficient proficiency in English reading and writing

Compulsory study materials

  • ‘Leadership’ by Brigid Carroll & Jackie Ford, Sage Publications Ltd, 2015. ISBN13: 9781446294383 (paperback) or ISBN13: 9781473927605 (ebook)

Please note
As this is an online course, you do need access to an internet connection in order to be able to follow lectures, complete assignments and communicate with fellow participants.

This course is also available at the Utrecht Summer School

Course is offered by logo_UMCU

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated April 13, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Online
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2019
20 weeks
Part time
900 EUR
Netherlands - Netherlands Online
Start date : Sept. 2019
Application deadline Request Info
End date Jan. 27, 2019
Sept. 2019
Netherlands - Netherlands Online
Application deadline Request Info
End date Jan. 27, 2019