The Perceived Leadership Characteristics, Behaviors, and Self-Esteem: Conducting Your Leadership Orchestra as a Hispanic Nurse

Friday, 28 July 2017

Giselle Melendez, EdD, MS
Department of Nursing, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA


The purposes of this study were to investigate the perceptions of the leadership characteristics, and behaviors of Hispanic nurses, as well as to evaluate Hispanic nurses’ self-esteem. Using the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI), the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ), the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, and a demographic questionnaire, the investigator intended to describe Hispanic nurses baseline characteristics, behaviors, and self-esteem so that further research studies may enhance how Hispanic nurses can be further developed, educated, trained, and mentored to become nursing leaders.

There is a great shortage of Hispanic nurses and nurse leaders in the United States. Hispanic nurses currently make up only 4.8% of RNs in the United States. As the population in the United States shifts from where Hispanics are the minorities and become the majorities, more Hispanic nurses will be needed to care for the patients. Not only is there a shortage of Hispanic nurses in relation to the size of the Hispanic population, there is an even great shortage of Hispanic nurse leaders in relation to the size of the Hispanic population and the Hispanic nursing pool. Little research has been done on Hispanic nurses with a focus on leadership development. As more Hispanics are entering the nursing profession, more will be needed as leaders in the profession.


For the purpose of this study a descriptive quantiative methodology was chosen in order to better understand the perceived leadership characteristics, behaviors, and self-esteem of Hispanic nurses. An online survey was used to collect data from Hispanic nurses throughout the United States. The online survey consistend of the following instruments, the Leadership Practices Inventory, the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire, the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, and a demographic questionnaire. An advertisement on Facebook, which was created by the online marketing firm Total Market Exposure, was used to recruit participants for the study. In addition, a flyer was created that targeted individuals based on the specifications of this study’s focus. Participants in the study needed to be of a Hispanic origin, a licensed registered nurse in the continental United States, able to read and comprehend English, and had passed the nursing licensing exam.

The Leadership Practices Inventory consists of 30 questions which is broken down into five scales. Each of the five scales contains six questions. The Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire consists of 45 questions. The Multifactor Questionnaire measures four different leadership styles: specifically, transformational leadership, transactional leadership, passive-avoidant behavior, and outcomes of leadership. The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale consists of ten questions. The demographic questionnaire was created by the investigator and consisted of fiften questions. In total, participants were required to answer all 100 questions.


Data analysis was completed using various statistical analyses. The investigator reviewed each survey for completeness and eligibility. In all, 208 surveys were completed online through the Checkbox® survey link. After data cleansing a total of 193 surveys were considered for data analysis. Measures of central tendency, mean, mode, median, standard deviation, minimum score, and maximum score were used to describe the perceived leadership characteristics, behaviors, and self-esteem. Upon completion of the data analysis, reliability data from the sample research study was compared to the existing reliability of the Leadership Practices Inventory, the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire, and the Rosenberg Self-Eseteem Scale.

The participants of this study comprised of 167 female and 26 male subjects. The largest age group was 30 to 40 (n = 71, 36.8%). The predominant Hispanic origins among participants were Puerto Rican (n = 59, 30.6%) and Mexican (n = 52, 26.9%). Participants held degrees ranging from an Associate Degree to a Doctoral Degree. The majority of Hispanic nurses worked as a staff nurse (n = 82, 42.5%). Many of the participants in this study have not held a leadership position with a professional nursing association (n= 131, 67.9%). The survey was conducted throughout the United States of America.


The demographic findings of this study are similar to those found in the 2013 National Nursing Workforce Survey of Registered Nurses. Based on the demographic findings of this study, it is imperative that more Hispanic nurses are recruited into the profession. There are only 4.8% of Hispanic nurses in the total RN population. As more Hispanic are recruited to become nurses, more needs to be done to increase the number of Hispanic nurse leaders.

Three instruments were used to answer the research question. The investigator did not find any research study that used these instruments with a specific target population of Hispanic nurses. For the Leadership Practices Inventory the highest perceived leadership characteristic among Hispanic nurses is Enabling Others to Act. This characteristic allows the leader to foster collaboration while building trust and strength. For the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire, Hispanic nurses perceive that leaders need to be transformational leaders. The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale showed that Hispanic nurses have a normal to high level of self-esteem. Hispanic nurses who participated in this study have the self-esteem and confidence necessary to be leaders.

The findings of this study offer a promising future for Hispanic nurses in the United States. Based on these findings, greater consideration should be placed on developing Hispanic nurses to become leaders in the healthcare profession. By developing Hispanic nurses into leaders, they will continue to build upon their skills but they will be a mentor to others and one day provide the opportunity to conduct their nursing leadership orchestra.