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  1. Anderson, Barbara Jo MSN, RN, NE-BC
  2. Manno, Martin MSN, RN, ACNS-BC
  3. O'Connor, Pricilla PhD, RN
  4. Gallagher, Eileen MSN, RN


There are varying and overlapping leadership characteristics that exemplify excellence in nursing leadership. To assess aspects of leadership that helps create a healthy work environment that supports nurses' provision of quality care at the bedside, the authors used a national survey instrument to examine the characteristics of nurse managers identified as excellent nurse leaders by their staff. The authors discuss their findings and a proposed theoretical model to explain specific nursing leadership characteristics that support staff nurse job satisfaction and retention.