Authentic Leadership Development and Translation Into Nursing Practice

Sunday, November 1, 2009

JoAnn D. Long, RN, PhD, NEA-BC
Cindy Ford, PhD, RN, CNE
Shonda Chancey, BSN
Carolyn Chisholm, BSN
Patience Clements, BSN
Honey Haney, BSN
Terry Hill, BSN
Lori Johnson, BSN
Karen Moore, BSN
Katrina Perkins, BSN
Gary Sackett, BSN
Everette Smith, BSN
Marnette Winner, BSN
Teri Maxson, BSN
Department of Nursing, Lubbock Christian University, Lubbock, TX

Learning Objective 1: discuss the progression of authentic leadership characteristics in masterís level nursing students and graduates.

Learning Objective 2: discuss a hypothesized model depicting the translation of authentic leadership behaviors into nursing practice.

There is both a global and national shortage of registered nurses (Buerhaus, 2008; International Council of Nurses, 2004).  The stressful nature of nursing may lead to burnout and contributes to the shortage.  Authentic leaders play a vital role in establishing and sustaining healthy work environments (American Association of Critical Care Nurses, 2005). An authentic leader is one who is in a position of influence/responsibility who is genuine, trustworthy, reliable, and believable (George, 2003).  Further, authentic leaders are distinguished by a deep sense of personal core values, principles, and ethics that determine actions (George, 2007; Shirey, 2006).  Research advancing the study of authentic leadership in nursing is recommended (Shirey, 2006).  The graduate nursing program at Lubbock Christian University is designed to increase leadership skills.  The program utilizes the Quinn Competing Values Framework Competencies and Authentic Leadership concepts to engage students in the journey of what it means to be an authentic leader.  The research questions for this study are: 1) “Do students show significant progress with leadership development?” 2) “How do authentic leadership concepts translate into behaviors in nursing practice?” and 3) “Are authentic leadership scores of graduate students predictive of leadership behaviors in nursing practice?” Data was collected from 50 graduate nursing students enrolled from 2006-2008.  A pre test post test design was used to determine the change in their scores over a 3 month period.  Findings support a statistically significant improvement in nine out of ten leadership competencies.  Research questions two and three are in progress.  A qualitative approach using focus groups will be utilized for research question two.  Research question three will compare self evaluation scores of graduates (3- 24 months post graduation) with peer/supervisor evaluation, using the same instrument, to evaluate leadership behavior.  A preliminary model of authentic leadership development is hypothesized.