Leadership in Professional Nursing

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Leadership in Professional Nursing
Every day, a set team of nurses and nursing managers set out to ensure the health and well-being of their patients. To achieve this goal, a nurse manager must adhere to a specific style of nursing leadership. There are many different styles of leadership in the healthcare field. Bass and Barnes (1985) stated that the two most common are transformational and transactional (as cited in Frankel, 2008, p.24). This paper will define leadership, the two different styles, how each are executed, as well as pros and cons of each. Review of Professional Nursing Literature

Stogdill (1950) defines leadership as the process of influencing the activities of an organized group in its efforts toward goal-setting and goal achievement (as cited in Frankel, 2008, p.24). The use of leadership behaviors is significantly correlated with job satisfaction, productivity, and organizational commitment. When a group faces a task, the leadership set before them directly affects the outcome. In order to obtain a positive outcome, a leader must be able to direct a group or individual toward the achievement of a common goal. Inspiring action and a shared vision greatly increase the chances of a positive employee outcome. As the nation continues to focus on issues of health, rather than just treatment of disease, nurses will increasingly play leadership roles (Mittelman, 2010, p.10). The first type of leadership is transformational. The main focus of transformational leadership is to conjoin nurse managers and nurses to strive to meet a united goal. Leaders transform followers by increasing their awareness of task importance and value, getting them to focus first on team or organizational goals rather than their own interests, and activating their higher-order needs. It is vital to allow young nurses the opportunity to form their own opinions and receive feedback. These young nurses are trying to find their place within the work force and will not benefit from being criticized on many things at once. Job dissatisfaction is due to managers not giving due recognition and support, not being able to follow through on problems and not helping but criticizing in a crisis (Loke, 2001). The boss must be careful and narrow down the areas in which improvement is needed and explain why the improvements are needed. When utilizing this method, Sutton suggested that they (bosses) consciously break out of the power bubble by asking for direct input and feedback (as cited in Flora, 2010, p.50). By doing this, nurses are allowed to hold a functioning role in the development of policies. Bass (1985), found that “the transformational leadership factors were more highly correlated with perceived group effectiveness and job satisfaction, and contributed more to individual performance and motivation, than transactional leaders” (as cited in Frankel, 2008, p.23). This type of leader is often found empowering their employees and giving them a sense self worth within the company. Steers (1977) found “commitment improves work performance and reduces absenteeism and turnover which are costly to organizations (as cited in Loke, 2001).

Transactional leadership is built on reciprocity, the ways in which leaders and followers influence one another, and the idea that the relationship between leader and their followers develops from the exchange of some reward, such as performance rating’s, pay, recognition, or praise (Marturano, 2004). This style of leadership does not promote a close relationship amongst the boss and the employee, but has proven to be practical in certain situations. According to Frankel (2008), “transitional leadership is short-lived, episodic, and task based” (p. 23). Based on this, the employees’ attraction is geared towards a more selfish transaction, rather than the common good of the group. Many employees find themselves working past this type of hierarchy to acquire the exchange...
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