Leadership Practices among Undergraduate Nursing Instructors

Higher Education    Teachers

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TITLE Leadership Practices among Undergraduate Nursing Instructors
RESEARCHER Melissa Martin Bryant
College of Nursing
University of Southern Mississippi
Unpublished doctoral dissertation: May 2015

The purpose of this study was to identify leadership practices of nursing instructors and how these compare with both their students and with normative data.

The sample population consisted of 486 full-time nursing faculty members and 4,613 undergraduate nursing students within Mississippi. Two universities and three community colleges participated, yielding 45 instructors (66%) and 511 students (91%). There was an average of eleven LPI Observers for each LPI Self. The typical instructor was female (96%), Caucasian (85%), between 40-59 years old (62%), with 6-15 years of teaching experience (53%), with a MSN degree (78%). The typical nursing student respondent was female (82%), Caucasian (78%), between 18-25 years old (69%), with 40 percent in their first year of study and 33 percent in their third year.

The LPI scores of nursing instructors were significantly higher than those from the Kouzes-Posner normative database on four leadership practices: Model, Inspire, Challenge, and Encourage. The scores of nursing instructors were not significantly different from those reported by their observers (nursing students in their classrooms). Similarly, no significant differences were found between the scores of instructors by type of program (university-based versus community-based), and this was also true from the vantage point of nursing students in each program/institution. While instructors holding a doctoral degree had higher frequency scores on all five practices than those of their master’s prepared counterparts, none of these reached statistical significance levels. This same trend was noted by nursing students. No significant correlation was found between instructor’s years of experience and LPI scores.

The author concludes:

The overall findings of this study indicate that undergraduate nursing instructors are practicing transformational leadership in the classroom as described by Kouzes and Posner (2012) and measured by the LPI instrument (2014). More so, nursing instructors in this study are demonstrating the five practices of exemplary leadership at a much higher rate than average as measured by the LPI instrument for all types of leaders worldwide (p. 98).