Essence-Driven Leadership: Illuminating the Lived Experiences of Chief Nursing Officers

Sunday, 8 November 2015: 4:00 PM

Kathleen Flores Eviza, MSN, RN
Operating Room Complex, St. Lukes Medical Center - Global City, Taguig, Philippines


This paper embraces the lived experiences of selected ten Chief Nursing Officers (CNOs) in tertiary hospitals within the Philippine's National Capital Region. The study gave light to emerging lived experiences (e.g. the social processes, psychological disposition and experiential perspective) which impinged on CNOs decision making, leadership styles, organizational culture, climate and transformation.


Individualized in-depth, unstructured interviews with field notes were used as consented among ten selected CNOs in tertiary hospitals within NCR. Consent from the colleges and all affiliating institutions were sought prior to data gathering procedure. Written consent  for each co-researcher was secured before interview process began. Anonymity and confidentiality was observed all throughout the research process to address ethical concerns of the participants. 

The research design rested on the Heideggerian and Gadamerian hermeneutics combined with Giorgi’s method of qualitative content analysis. Constant comparative technique further degraded emerging themes which embodied the phenomena conserving the perspective of ontological objectivity with an intricate degree of reductionism. It lies in the premise of naturalism and object relativism which resonates the reality of facts as embodied, perceived and interpreted. 


The essence-driven leadership framework elucidated leadership essentials necessary to cultivate and sustain organizational success. Elements of CNOs  lived  experiences were exhibited in the continuum of highlighted personal and organizational transformation, as follows: (1) Self-mastery; CNOs understanding of sense of self (control and awareness) either personal or  interpersonal processes which allow them to have a realistic perspective of themselves in interaction with the environment; (2) Environmental mastery, is charecterized by CNOs instinctiveness of perception. It details the experiential expertise amongst CNOs that make them intuitive of future occurences in an ever changing healthcare milieu; (3) Grounding, on the other hand is the  fusion of self and environmental mastery to construct a holistic perspective of the organization in interaction with the extrnal forces (4) Essences, is the fuel of  CNOs sense of purpose, which is  found in three dimensions (workforce, executive role, and clients) which sustain motivational momentum  and leadership drive (5) Organizational transformation through adaptive change is achieved when there is clarity of direction, sense of purpose, esprit de corps and ultimately, the renouncement of status quo through (6) Transcendence is communicated in the organization. 



Leadership through strategies isn’t formulaic. Sheer figures and numbers are insufficient to become a transformational and transcendental chief nursing officer. Leaning on the soft science of leadership and structure from strategies, the Essence-driven leadership resonate from chief nursing officer's sense of organizational purpose.  The elements of the framework blend in variable degrees, which is refined through time and experience. With this model, leaders not only provide mere vision but bring purpose to impact.

Keywords: Chief Nursing Officer, Essence- Driven Leadership, Strategic Lived Experiences, Transcendence, Transformation.