1. Section Editor(s): Coogan, Neil MSN, MBA, RN-BC, CEN

Article Content

Transformational Leadership in Nursing

Elaine Sorensen Marshall. Springer Publishing Company: New York, NY. 2011. 280 pages, soft cover. US $70.00. ISBN: 978-0-8261-0528-8


*Reviewed by:


Judy McDaniel, MSN, RN, CEN


Program Manager Professional Development


Adventist HealthCare


Rockville, Maryland





In the preface, Marshall writes, "This work is not meant to be a comprehensive encyclopedic text for healthcare leadership[horizontal ellipsis] its purpose is to identify some key issues related to leadership development" (p. xi). The author achieves this purpose.


Doctoral students are the target audience for this book. The book offers the basis for some interesting discussions. The references and suggestions for additional reading are very helpful in providing the background for the student who is moving from being a doer to being a thinker.


The book covers four key areas: Becoming the Transformational Leader, Contexts for Transformational Leadership, Designing New Care Delivery Models, and Power, Politics, and Policy. This textbook helps the clinical expert grasp key elements of leadership and how to look through a different set of eyes to help transform health care in today's environment. Each section can be useful to both the novice leader to understand basic concepts and the experienced leader who is ready to grow as a leader.


Overall, there is so much information in the book that it is difficult to grasp all of it on the first or second reading. The question that looms large has to do with the target audience being doctorial students; they are typically leaders already, so the purpose may be lost. At the same time, baccalaureate-prepared nurses are not ready for this material because they are still trying to grasp the basics of nursing, not how to improve or change delivery systems.


Transformational Leadership in Nursing would be a great book for an organization that realizes the value of nurses and wants to empower them to lead. An organization on its Magnet journey that has identified potential leaders with a succession plan in place would find this book beneficial. There would need to be a strong leader facilitating the review and discussion for nurses in the organization because of the complexity of the material. Creating a professional development course using this book as the text could result in developing new leaders who would possess an understanding of how to be transformational.


There is a definite need for this type of textbook. The author has done a wonderful job of gathering the content and additional references to provide those who want to be transformational leaders, whether doctoral students or practicing nurses, with the supporting evidence to develop them.


Disclaimer: The author has disclosed that she has no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this review.


The Growth and Development of Nurse Leaders

Angela Barron McBride. Springer Publishing Company, New York, NY. 2011. 248 pages, paper bound. $55.00. ISBN: 928-0-8261-0241-6


*Reviewed by:


Linda J. Shinn, MBA, RN, FASAE, CAE


President and CEO


Consensus Management Group


Indianapolis, IN





Leadership continues to be a popular topic in the media, across the political spectrum, in the business community, within for-profit and not-for-profit groups, and in the profession of nursing. Given the 330,000,000 results when "Googling" the subject, leadership is on the minds of a lot of people.


Angela Barron McBride has written one of the more recent texts on leadership in the nursing profession. McBride indicates that she has long wanted to write a book on leadership with the following purposes:


* focusing on nursing as a gendered profession, a matter not often attended to in thinking about leadership in the profession;


* acknowledging the profession's successes and failures in leadership, not just for the aggregate of the profession but for each member;


* urging nurses to get to know themselves and their own leadership quotient as this influences all that nurses do.



This well-written text details the history of leadership in the profession and sets a context for what will be required of the profession's future leaders. The text is not a lecture or a formulaic treatment of leadership but rather a reflection on the progression of the profession in developing nurse leaders laced with the author's own experiences as a developing leader.


The willingness of the author, long a highly regarded leader in nursing, to identify some of her own failings while climbing the leadership ladder is important in getting her points across. McBride's stories will long be remembered and, with no doubt, be used as examples by others. Such self-revelation reminds us that all, even the most highly regarded in the profession, have ups and downs and that missteps can often be the best teachers. As well, the reminder that experience and self-awareness shape the leader answers the age-old question, "Are leaders made or born?" McBride suggests they are made: made by working with others; learning from experience; mentoring and being mentored; acquiring knowledge; listening; naming what we do; possessing a vision for the future; holding onto important values; and practicing common courtesies.


The book is organized in three parts: leadership as personal, leadership as achieving organizational goals, and leadership as transformational. The parts are interrelated. Each chapter concludes with key take-away points, a crisp restatement of the salient matters discussed in the chapter, and a great tool to help the reader reflect on what was read. Equally helpful are the several tables that the author has included. These visual tools assist the reader in understanding career stages that juxtapose to mentoring needs, developmental tasks, and interdisciplinary development.


There are two disconcerting factors albeit technical in nature about the book. There is an occasional word missing in the text that is distracting to the reader. Although the author was assiduous in providing references and some are classics in the profession, many of the references are dated.


The Growth and Development of Nurse Leaders is for seasoned nurses, nurse leaders, and aspiring leaders. This book should be in the tool kit of every member of the profession, as all of us should be willing and prepared to understand and contribute to the business of advancing the profession and caring for others.


Disclaimer: The author has disclosed that she has no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this review.