The purpose of this study was to analyze exemplary leadership of the head nurses that affect job satisfaction and commitment to the organization of working nurses in general hospitals in the Northern Region of Thailand.
Participants were 96 head nurses and 480 staff nurses in the general hospitals in the Northern Region (response rate = 96%). Respondents completed a modified version of the Leadership Practices Inventory (using a five-point response scale), the Professional Nurse Job Questionnaire to assess job satisfaction (Hertzberg, Mausner & Synderman, 1959), and Organizational Commitment scale (Mowday & Porter, 1979). All of the respondents were female, and most were married (65%), held a bachelor’s degree (79%), and had received leadership and nursing management training (78%). Most of the head nurses were 41 years or older (80%) and most of the staff nurses were under 40 years of age (88%). Similarly, most of the head nurses had been at the hospital for 10 or more years (99%), while only 43 percent of the staff nurses had that much tenure.
Enabling was the most frequent leadership practice, followed by Model, Inspire and Encourage, and then Challenge. The reported frequency by head nurses was significantly higher for Model, Inspire, Enable and Encourage than the frequency reported by staff nurses. Both groups rated Challenge as the least frequently engaged in behavior and the level of this response did not differ between head and staff nurses.
The job satisfaction of staff nurses was significantly correlated with the extent to which they viewed the head nurse as engaging in each of the five leadership practices. Commitment by staff nurses was significantly correlated as well with the extent to which they viewed the head nurse as engaging in the five leadership practices.