Nurse Manager's Leadership Style May Affect Staff Retention

Transformational leadership associated with lower staff turnover
By Jane Parry
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Sept. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Emergency department nurse managers who adopt a Transformational leadership style may be able to reduce staff turnover, according to the results of a study published in the October issue of the Journal of Emergency Nursing.

Glenn H. Raup, Ph.D., of John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, conducted a study of 15 managers and 30 staff nurses from 15 out of 98 possible academic health centers, who each completed a Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire and a survey on the nurse manager's role and practice demographics.

Transformational leadership, which is described as "behaviors that elevate followers to higher levels of achievement," was used by all but three of the 15 managers surveyed, the investigators found. The mean staff turnover rate under the Transformational leadership style was well below the national average of 21.3 percent, at 13 percent, the study revealed. Although there was no statistically significant difference in staff retention rates under a Transformational or non-Transformational leadership style, there was a trend toward better staff retention under the former, the authors report. Neither leadership style had an effect on patient satisfaction, the report indicates.

"Preliminary results indicated a trend toward potential significance in the impact of Transformational leadership on staff nurse retention. Current literature supports this speculation," the authors write. "Consideration should be given to extending the information provided concerning this style of leadership and methods of incorporating its principles into informal and formal training and management courses."

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