This study provided insight into the level of engagement of nurse managers (NMs) and strategies used to achieve and sustain engagement in acute care settings.
Nurse managers have a significant role in staff satisfaction and unit outcomes and therefore need to be engaged in their work to influence others. Little is known about the level of individual NM engagement and strategies they use to remain engaged.
A mixed methods approach was used to elicit information about NM engagement. This study used a sample of 47 NMs to measure their level of engagement, and for those achieving scores indicating high levels of engagement, interviews were conducted, and a content analysis was completed to identify themes.
Results showed that there were significantly higher levels of NM engagement among those managers who had been practicing as nurse leaders for a longer period and also those who had advanced degrees. Qualitative review revealed the themes of expert communication, autonomy, and influence as the key factors driving NM engagement.
The role of the nurse executive in NM engagement is significant in supporting educational advancement and retention, both of which proved to have an impact on the level of engagement.