This study reported the evolution of transformational leadership (TL) practices and behaviors across years of age, management experience, and professional nursing practice within a professional nursing leadership organization.BACKGROUND
Recent studies of CNO TL found valuations peak near age 60 years. This study reported on a wider range of management positions, correlating years of RN practice and management experience and age to TL metrics.METHOD
This study used Kouzes and Posner's Leadership Practices Inventory—Self-Assessment (LPI-S) to survey a nursing leadership organization, the Association of California Nurse Leaders (ACNL). Anonymous responses were analyzed to identify leadership trends in age and years of professional service.RESULTS
On average, LPI-S metrics of leadership skills advance through years of management, RN experience, and age. The TL scores are statistically higher in most LPI-S categories for those with more than 30 years of RN or management experience. Decade-averaged LPI-S TL metrics in the ACNL survey evolve linearly throughout age before peaking in the decade from age 60 to 69 years. A similar evolution of TL metrics is seen in decades of either years of management experience or years of RN experience. Transformational leadership increased with nursing maturity particularly for LPI-S categories of “inspire a shared vision,” “challenge the process,” and “enable others to act.”CONCLUSION
In the ACNL population studied, decade-averaged leadership metrics advanced. Leadership evolution with age in the broader RN population peaked in age bracket 60 to 69 years. The LPI-S averages declined when older than 70 years, coinciding with a shift from full-time work toward retirement and part-time employment.