The purpose of this study was to determine if a relationship exists between the leadership practices of mid-level and first line nurse leaders and their level of emotional intelligence.
A regional healthcare system located in the southeast United States was selected as the research site, with 90 mid-level and first line nursing managers, of which 73 participated (27 first-line and 46 mid-level). The typical respondent was female (96%), over 40 years old (77%). Cronbach alpha reliabilities for Modeling and Encouraging were .60 while Inspiring, Enabling and Challenging were .80 and above.
Enabling was the most frequently engaged in leadership practices followed by Encouraging, Modeling, Inspiring, and Challenging. The correlations between the five leadership practices and emotional intelligence were all positive, and significant for the total group and for the mid-level nurse leaders.
Significant positive correlations were found between the type of nurse leader and each of the five leadership practices. Mid-level nurse leaders were more likely to utilize the leadership practices than first-level nurse leaders. There were no significant correlations between engagement in the leadership practices and gender, years in nursing, or years as a nursing leader. Generally there were no significant differences in the leadership practices of nurse leaders and age and education, with two exceptions. Encourage was positively correlated with age, while Enable was positively correlated with educational level. For first-level nurses there were no significant relationships between any of the demographic information and leadership practices. For mid-level nurse leaders, there were no significant relationships between age, education or years in nursing. Years as a nurse leader was significantly correlated, inversely, with the leadership practices of Inspiring and Challenging.