Nurse manager leadership styles: A baseline assessment

Project Background

Nursing leadership styles influence human resources outcomes such as staff nurse satisfaction and turnover. At the a Souther Health System high turnover rates and job dissatisfaction are putting a financial strain on the system. Given the large body of literature demonstrating a relationship between Nurse Manager leadership styles and registered nurse turnover and job satisfaction, a baseline assessment was indicated. 

Project Purpose

The purpose of this project was to use Bass’ (1985) theory of transformational leadership to conduct a baseline assessment of Nurse Manager leadership styles within a Southern Health System. 

Project Methods

Interviews were conducted with seven Nurse Managers utilizing a 15 question interview guide based on the four behaviors of Bass’ Model: inspirational motivation, idealized influence, individualized consideration, and intellectual stimulation.

Project Outcomes

Findings revealed that five of the seven Nurse Managers interviewed used a transformational versus non-transformational style. Recurring themes were identified associated with the four behaviors of Bass’ Model. Exemplar quotes were recorded that characterized feelings, facts or concepts reflective of transformational or non-transformational behaviors. Of the seven participants, four transformational Nurse Managers and one non-transformational Nurse Manager had high job satisfaction rates. Of the transformational Nurse Managers, four had low turnover rates and one had high turnover. Both non-transformational Nurse Managers had the highest turnover rates of the seven participants. 

Project Implications

Describing themes identified in Nurse Manager interviews as they relate to leadership styles will serve as a foundation for future leadership development of frontline nurse leaders. Future recommendations include interviewing all Nurse Managers within the same hospital to provide a stronger baseline assessment for which further decisions and actions could be taken; conducting a validation project whereby staff nurses would rate their Nurse Managers, allowing for feedback and opportunity for modification of leadership style; and the implementation of a coaching program for Nurse Managers to enhance their transformational leadership style.


Carol Dwyer

Graduation Date

September, 2017


nurse administration