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Emotional Intelligence and Transformational Leadership in Nurse Managers

Spano-Szekely, Lauraine DNP, MBA, BSN, RN; Quinn Griffin, Mary T. PhD, RN, FAAN; Clavelle, Joanne DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE; Fitzpatrick, Joyce J. PhD, RN, FAAN

JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration: February 2016 - Volume 46 - Issue 2 - p 101–108
doi: 10.1097/NNA.0000000000000303

OBJECTIVE: This study describes the relationship between emotional intelligence (EI) and transformational leadership (TL) in nurse managers (NMs).

BACKGROUND: Effective NM leadership is important as they have direct influence over RN performance and patient outcomes. Research has demonstrated that a TL style generates greater commitment from followers than other leadership styles. EI is 1 potential characteristic of TL.

METHODS: A descriptive exploratory research study was conducted to correlate EI and TL practices of NMs.

RESULTS: EI was significantly positively correlated with TL and outcome measures of extra-effort, effectiveness, and satisfaction and significantly negatively correlated with laissez-faire leadership. A positive relationship was found between TL and NMs with advanced education and administrative certification.

CONCLUSION: Nursing administrators should consider EI characteristics when hiring NMs and lead efforts to advance education to align with organization needs for business and strategic essentials necessary for NM effectiveness.

Author Affiliations: Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer, Northern Westchester Hospital, Mount Kisco, New York (Dr Spano-Szekely); Associate Professor (Dr Quinn Griffin) and Elizabeth Brooks Ford Professor of Nursing (Dr Fitzpatrick), Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio; Senior Vice President/Chief Clinical Officer (Dr Clavelle), Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network 2, Scottsdale, Arizona.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest

Correspondence: Dr Spano-Szekely, Patient Care Services, 400 East Main Street, Northern Westchester Hospital, Mount Kisco, NY 10549 (

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