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Transformational Leadership Practices of Chief Nursing Officers in Magnet® Organizations

Clavelle, Joanne T. DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE; Drenkard, Karen PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN; Tullai-McGuinness, Susan PhD, RN; Fitzpatrick, Joyce J. PhD, MBA, RN, FAAN

JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration: April 2012 - Volume 42 - Issue 4 - p 195–201
doi: 10.1097/NNA.0b013e31824ccd7b

Objective: This study describes the transformational leadership practices of Magnet® chief nursing officers (CNOs).

Background: It is believed that transformational leadership practices influence quality and are integral to Magnet designation.

Methods: E-mail surveys of 384 Magnet CNOs were conducted in 2011 using the leadership practices inventory (LPI).

Results: Enabling others to act and modeling the way are top practices of Magnet CNOs. Those 60 years or older and those with doctorate degrees scored significantly higher in inspiring a shared vision and challenging the process. There was a significant positive relationship between total years as a CNO and inspiring a shared vision and between total scores on the LPI and number of beds in the organization.

Conclusions: As CNOs gain experience and education, they exhibit more transformational leadership characteristics. Magnet organizations should take steps to retain CNOs and support their development and advancement.

Author Affiliations: Vice President, Patient Care Services/Chief Nursing Officer (Dr Clavelle), St Luke’s Health System, Treasure Valley, Boise, Idaho; Executive Director (Dr Drenkard), American Nurses Credentialing Center, Silver Springs, Maryland; Associate Professor (Dr Tullai-McGuinness); Elizabeth Brooks Ford Professor of Nursing (Dr Fitzpatrick), Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Correspondence: Dr Clavelle, St Luke’s Health System, Treasure Valley, 190 E Bannock Street, Boise, ID 83712 (

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.