Nursing is acknowledged as being the art and science of caring. According to the theory of nursing as caring, all persons are caring but not every behaviour of a person is caring. Caring behaviours in the relationship between first-line nurse managers and Registered Nurses have been studied to a lesser extent than those that exist between patients and nurses. Caring behaviour of first-line nurse managers from the perspective of Registered Nurses is as of yet unknown. Identifying caring behaviours may be useful as a reference for first-line nurse managers caring for nurses in a way that nurses prefer.Aims:
To explore first-line nurse managers' caring behaviours from the perspective of Registered Nurses in mainland China.Design:
Qualitative study, using descriptive phenomenological approach.Methods:
Fifteen Registered Nurses recruited by purposive sampling method took part in in-depth interviews. Data were analysed according to Colaizzi's technique.Results:
Three themes of first-line nurse managers' caring behaviours emerged: promoting professional growth, exhibiting democratic leadership and supporting work-life balance.Conclusions:
A better understanding of the first-line nurse managers' caring behaviours is recognised. The three kinds of behaviours have significant meaning to nurse managers. Future research is needed to describe what first-line nurse managers can do to promote nurses' professional growth, increase the influence of democratic leadership, as well as support their work-life balance.