Healthcare Employees/Individual Contributors/Members/Adults
The purpose of this quantitative comparative study was to examine transformational leadership qualities of baccalaureate prepared graduating nursing students through various programs such as generic, RN-BSN, and accelerated, as well as practicing nurses.
The study was conducted among graduating BSN students from five nursing schools and
practicing nurses from several acute care facilities and conference locations in the
northeastern and middle part of New Jersey. One hundred thirty seven generic, 45 RN-BSN,
and 29 accelerated graduating students participated in the study. One hundred forty five
practicing nurses from three acute care facilities and several conference locations also
participated in the study. The typical student respondent was female (89%) and 29 years old. The typical practicing nurse respondent was female (92%), 44.6 years of age, with a BSN (70%), more than five years of work experience (85%) and half held a leadership position within nursing. Each survey participant completed the Leadership Practices Inventory- Self and a demographic questionnaire.
Significant differences were found between groups on Modeling, Inspiring, Enabling and
Encouraging but not for Challenging. In terms of demographic variables, when all participants
were included in a regression analysis, only age was a significant predictor of Modeling and
Inspiring. However, the amount of variance explained by age was minimal. There were no
significant relationships between any leadership variables and demographic variables for
practicing nurses or nursing students. The results of the MANOVA indicated no significant differences by group when age was held constant. Regression analyses were conducted for the
nurses in clinical practice to determine if years of experience, level of education, and leadership
position were significantly related to leadership skills. The results indicated that there were no
significant relationships between leadership skills and years of experience, level of education,
and leadership position of nurses in clinical practice.
The author concludes: "The results of this research indicated differences in
transformational leadership components among graduating baccalaureate students and
practicing nurses, with practicing nurses scoring higher compared to students from generic and
accelerated nursing programs. The results of the research suggest that differences exist
between students graduating from baccalaureate nursing programs and nurses in clinical
practice in respect to certain transformational leadership components based on Kouzes and
Posner's (2003) leadership instrument" (pp. 98-99). "The graduating students from RN-BSN
programs also scored high in three of the transformational leadership components compared to
students from generic and accelerated programs. It is important to note that RN-BSN students
are also nurses in clinical practice. Increased leadership training among nursing students in the
accelerated and generic programs may address the lower transformational leadership skills.
Entry-level nurses are crucial in healthcare delivery. Superior leadership skills among these
nurses can have positive effects on patient outcomes" (p. 99).