Transformational management improves nurse retention, patient care

The management style known as transformational leadership helps nurses provide better care and improves retention of nurses early in their career, according to a study published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing.

Not surprisingly, the study also found that abusive management practices have a negative impact on patient care and prompt young nurses to consider quitting their jobs.

Transformational leadership encourages employees to work toward a collective goal within a supportive environment, according to an announcement from McGill University, which conducted the study along with researchers from Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. Researchers surveyed 541 registered nurses practicing in Quebec; the average age was 26. The team developed an anonymous online survey and asked RNs to self-report on the effect of management styles. 

"Paying close attention to the leadership practices of nurse managers could prove effective in improving patient care and increasing the retention of new nurses, which is helpful in resolving the nursing shortage," the researchers concluded.

"Our results specifically suggest not only that we promote supportive leadership practices (transformational leadership) but, most of all, that we spread the word that abusive leadership creates working conditions that could be detrimental to the practice of nursing at career start."

Abusive leadership isn't limited to nurse managers. Nurses who get bullied by doctors and their superiors can take out their frustration on their peers, as FierceHealthcare previously reported. As a result, nurses play an important role in eliminating workplace bullying.

Transitioning from roles that emphasize clinical skills to roles that require leadership skills can be a challenge for nurses, but fellow leaders and human resources specialists can help nurse leaders develop those skills.

To learn more:
- see the study abstract
- read the announcement