Relationships among entry level preparation, experience, and leadership effectiveness styles of head nurses
Nurses are being promoted to head nurse positions without adequate preparation in leadership and management. One reason this problem exists is because nursing managers are being selected from different levels of basic nursing education programs. Only baccalaureate education has a curriculum designed to develop professional nurse leaders.The purpose of the study was to determine the relationship of leadership effectiveness styles of head nurses drawn from a stratified random sample of hospitals in the state of Indiana, to type of basic nursing education program, and experience in a head nurse position.Data were collected from 204 out of 343 head nurses practicing in hospitals in the state of Indiana accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation. A Leader Effectiveness and Adaptability Description Instrument measuring four styles of leadership effectiveness as formalized by Hersey and Blanchard, and a Demographic Data Sheet were utilized for data collection.Decisions about three null hypotheses were made at the 0.05 level by use of step-wise multiple regression analysis, and chi square procedures.Major findings include:1. The magnitude and/or direction of the relationship between entry-level preparation and leadership effectiveness styles of head nurses did not vary with years of experience in a head nurse position.2. There was no significant relationship between entry-level preparation and leadership effectiveness when experience was controlled.3. There was no significant relationship between experience and leadership effectiveness when entry-level preparation was controlled.4. Other data concerning major and alternate styles utilized by head nurses, and the number of style used were reported. The predominant major style of head nurses was High Task/ High Relationship. The predominant alternate style was Low Task/High Relationship...5. Head nurses used all four styles.6. All effectiveness style scores for head nurses were in the effective range.Conclusions1. Leadership effectiveness styles of head nurses do not depend on entry-level preparation and experience.2. Leadership effectiveness styles of head nurses do not depend on the type of basic nursing education program with experience controlled.3. Leadership effectiveness styles of head nurses do not depend on years of experience with entry-level controlled. 4. Head nurses predominantly use two styles of leadership: High Task/High Relationship, and Low Task/Low Relationship.5. Head nurses are able to vary leadership styles to meet the needs of the situation.6. Head nurses have effective styles.