A recent study shows that encouraging nurses to work towards a collective goal within a supportive milieu - a style of management called transformational leadership - can have positive effects on the quality of the care given to patients. It was also a predictor of nurses' intentions to stay on at their current healthcare facilities. Conversely, abusive leadership practices potentially lead to poorer quality of care and to a strong intention to quit.
The findings come from a sample of 541 registered nurses in Quebec with less than five years of nursing experience who completed an anonymous online survey and self-reported on the effect of different management styles.
"Paying close attention to the leadership practices of nurse managers could go a long way in improving patient care and increasing the retention rate among our new nurses," said Dr. Mélanie Lavoie-Tremblay, lead author of the Journal of Advanced Nursing study. "Managers should use the results to provide training for nurse managers focusing on transformational leadership practices and the dangers of abusive leadership."