Nurse Leaders' Perceptions of What Compromises Successful Leadership in Today's Acute Inpatient Environment

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The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of nurse leaders' perceptions of both the value of their roles in today's health care setting and their beliefs about how power and gender interface with role worth. Support for the theoretical significance of this research stemmed from Kanter's Structural Theory of Organizational Behavior. Four leaders were recruited at the executive level and 12 at the director/managerial level. The results of the deductive analysis supported Kanter's theory. Eighty-three percent of the nurse leaders validated that access to power, opportunity, information, and resources created an empowered environment, producing a climate that fostered leadership success and enhanced levels of job satisfaction among nurses. This study provided groundwork on the kinds of leadership traits that foster nursing satisfaction and on whether or not gender influences leadership effectiveness. The findings of this study are both timely and relevant for nurse leaders faced with the effects of the current supply-and-demand nursing shortage and with fiscal restraints mandated by managed care and regulatory agencies.

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