Delong Abstract December 10

Nursing Education Leaders’ Perceived Leadership Practices

Diane DeLong

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TITLE: Nursing Education Leaders’ Perceived Leadership Practices
School of Education
Capella University
Unpublished doctoral dissertation: December 2010

The purpose of this research was to examine the leadership practices perceived by nursing education leaders.

The sample population consisted of nursing education leaders (N=242) in the United States “who hold the position of program administrator with a higher education institution or hospital school of nursing.” The majority of participants were employed in 2-year public institutions (72%), and responsible for associate’s degree programs (74%). The typical respondent was 51-65 years of age (79%), with a master’s degree (51%), with less than 10 years in their current position as a nursing education leader (81%). Almost all participants (93%) reported receiving some form of professional development in leadership (typically coursework as part of an academic program). Participants completed the Leadership Practices Inventory and a demographic questionnaire.

Enabling was the leadership practice reported as most frequently engaged in, followed by Model, Encourage, Challenge and Inspire. The author suggests that “the participants in the survey rated themselves as effective leaders, as indicated by the majority of mean scores being at or above the 70th percentile score identified as ‘high’ by Kouzes and Posner” (p. 91). Moreover, each of the average scores of nursing education leaders was higher than the scores reported in the normative data base; although the rank order was the same for both groups.

No relationships were found between the demographic factors of age, years of experience in nursing education, years in current nursing education leadership experience, or type of prelicensure nursing program responsible and the five leadership practices. In the area of academic preparation for the participants, no statistical relationship was found for Model, Inspire, Enable and Encourage. Those with the highest academic credentials reported engaging significantly more in Challenging the Process. Furthermore, participation in professional leadership development showed a positive relationship with more frequently using each of the five leadership practices.