Transformational Leadership Approach In Nursing Practice: Characteristics And Impacts

Introduction to Transformational Leadership Approach

The contemporary nursing practice has become challenging and dynamic making it necessary healthcare organizations to have nurses who are both role models and able to inspire their juniors positively impact healthcare, advocate for the nursing profession and develop nursing care. Leadership is, therefore, an important component of the nursing practice. Although it is believed to be a challenge, identifying and developing nurse leaders is one of the major areas of focus for modern day Healthcare organizations. Leadership in the nursing practice is concerned with influencing people’s feelings, behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes (Hutchinson and Jackson, 2013). This report will focus on the transformational leadership approach.

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Different leaders adopt different leadership models in a clinical setting. These models include Transformational leadership model, participative leadership, and transactional leadership, Autocratic leadership, situational leadership and laissez-faire leadership model(Curtis, de Vries, and Sheerin, 2011). Transformational leaders use their vision to inspire their team and collaboration as a tool for identifying shared values. Participative leadership calls for the inclusion employees in all organizational decision-making processes. Under this leadership style, all input is highly valued. Transactional leadership works on the principle of contingent rewards. This leadership model can positively or negatively affect the performance and satisfaction levels of junior employees.

Transformational leadership approach is one of the approaches commonly used by nurses. Transformational leadership is a model of leadership that leads to changes in social systems and individuals. It is centred on making followers into leaders by instilling positive and valuable change in them(, 2018). Transformational leaders do not perceive their staff as a potential threat. They are comfortable making them future leaders by involving them in the decision-making process, through empowerment and delegation (Doody and Doody, 2012). Transformational leaders use participatory approaches to arrive at decisions. They tend to be good listeners and strive to empower their employees (Chummings et al., 2012).

Transformative leadership approach is the best approach that meets the needs of the modern healthcare workplace (Doody and Doody, 2012).The model advocates for shared responsibility and creation of a new way of knowing. Transformational leaders appeal to moral values and higher ideas that make their followers act in a way that they can sustain the common good by promoting collective interests rather than personal interests. It facilitates the creation of a supportive work environment where individuals share responsibilities (Doody and Doody, 2012).

A transformational leader is an individual who can influence staff to rise above their interests, enhance their commitment to the values and mission of their organization and advocate for and promote the interests of employees (Lavoie?Tremblay et al.2016)(Day and Antonakis, 2013). The idealized influence element enables leaders to win respect and trust of their followers in which the followers perceive them as role models (Northouse, 2017). Human Resources are generally inspired by people who can take bold steps and who are willing to consult them in major decision-making processes. Secondly, Inspirational motivation enables transformational leaders to lead their followers towards the realization of individual and organizational goals and objectives (Wong, 2015). Through this element, they envision a desirable future for their organization and inspire a shared vision throughout their organization. This way they can pull together the entire organization in one direction and improve patient care. Thirdly, intellectual stimulation enables Nurse Leaders to transform their followers into continuous learners and innovators (Chummings et al., 2012).

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Impacts of Transformational Leadership Approach on Nurses and Patients

Transformational leaders impact both their colleagues, Nurses, and Patients in multiple ways.

Through their ability to inspire a vision, for example, they institute changes in their organization such as the introduction of new technologies and motivate their colleagues and nurses into enforcing technological changes. They establish relationships built on trust and manage the realization of the intended changes. They, therefore, improve the motivation levels and engagement of nurses and colleagues in increasing return the quality of services delivered to patients (Chummings et al., 2012).

Transformational Nurse Leaders are people who are willing to adapt to the constant changes in modern-day healthcare organizations (O’Sullivan, 2016). For example, Through this aspect, they can deal with increased workplace diversity, changes in technology and societal needs. Their leadership style, therefore, enables the needs of patients to be met more effectively. Through the adoption of new technologies and being able to deal with diversity issues, they increase efficiency, productivity, and morale of employees and colleagues.

By acting as role models, transformational leaders stimulate their colleagues and nurses emotionally and intellectually. They make their work more fascinating, challenging, motivating and stimulating. They, therefore, improve the competence and engagement in their nursing careers (Day and Antonakis, 2013). By improving workplace engagement and competence, they improve the quality and efficiency of service delivery to patients.

The delivery systems for modern health care have increasingly become complex. With these complexities, transformational nurse leaders act as advocates for healthcare systems that improve the quality of health care and patient outcomes. They, therefore, impact patients positively through improved services (Kim and Mauborgne, 2017).

Transformational leadership focuses on creating a healthy workplace characterized by positive relationships. Transformational leaders use non-verbal expressions, adopt a positive communication style and the use of persuasive language in fostering a new vision and ensuring that the vision is shared by everyone in the organization (Chummings et al., 2012). It influences nurse’s communication positively by enabling them to be more positive in their communication, enabling them to use persuasive language and making them able to use nonverbal cues appropriately. It also enables an improvement of the quality of nursing documentation (Kvist et al., 2013). They do this through monitoring, ensuring that nurses are adequately trained and establishing a supportive work environment

Transformational leaders advocate for relationships founded on trust and respect. They root for respect for diversity and individual differences among nurses and colleagues. They promote positive relationships by being professional in their workplace interactions and using a consultative approach where all employees are equally involved in decision making(O’Sullivan, 2016). Transformational Nurse Leaders use participatory approaches to arrive at decisions. They tend to be good listeners and strive to empower their workforce (Chummings et al., 2012). Transformational leadership therefore promotes and enhances professional relationships.

Transformational Leadership Approach and Communication and Documentation

Through the use of participatory process and involvement of staff in decision-making processes and arriving at a consensus. They may, therefore, prevent conflicts from escalating. They establish an atmosphere where there is inclusivity and where everyone has the right to be heard(O’Sullivan, 2016). In this way, they enable conflicts to be managed and promote speedy resolution of conflicts. By adopting an inclusive approach in decision making, transformational nurse leader’s help prevents conflicts from emerging. In case of conflicts, they may give all the parties equal opportunity hence ensuring conflicts are resolved amicably. Lack of this attribute may escalate workplace conflicts and lower the quality of patient services (O’Sullivan, 2016).

Transformational leadership focuses on creating a new crop of leaders within the organizations. Through empowerment and involvement of junior nurses in decision-making processes, transactional leaders improve their competencies hence promote delegation of care. Through their influence, a delegation of care becomes a normal organizational practice (Mannix, Wilkes and Daly, 2013). Transformational leaders view delegation as a normal organizational process. They also perceive it as their responsibility to delegate. They believe that by delegating, they are going to establish a workplace where all nurses are equally qualified. Lack of delegation leads to the creation of a workplace where only the nursing leader is adequately qualified. This can affect the quality of patient care (O’Sullivan, 2016).

By establishing a personal relationship with nurses, transformational leaders facilitate a clear definition of the scope of practice. It makes it possible for individual nurses to become more effective in their nursing practice by understanding what they are required to do when they are required to do it, where they are required to do it and how they are required to do it (Curtis, de Vries, and Sheerin, 2011). They model the way by acting as role models. They are leaders who win the trust and respect of their workforce, and for that reason, nurses emulate their actions, behaviors, and ideals (Weberg, 2010). Transnational nurse leaders use their actions to demonstrate a commitment to their organization. In this way, they establish a conducive place to work and help their organizations to transition through change successfully. For example in improving the quality of patient care, they may take part in daily organizational routines and help them in service delivery. Here they may help in setting standards for their followers to adhere to.

Consequently, they can achieve this through workplace consultation. By consulting their staff, they establish a culture where consultations among Nurses are highly valued (Doody and Doody, 2012). It makes them aware of what is permitted and what is not as required by the terms spelled under their professional license.

Transformational Leadership Approach and Professional Relationships

The modern healthcare workplaces, however, provide unrivaled opportunities and challenges, necessitating the need for flexible and adaptive leadership(Weberg, 2010). The nature of transformative leadership approach makes it the most suitable for resolving emerging leadership challenges. Some of its impacts include increased efficiency and improved quality of patient care(Fischer, 2016).

Transformational leadership contributes to the quality of health care in multiple ways. By developing the individual capabilities of their staff through mentorship, delegation, and involvement in decision-making processes, they develop autonomy in them (Ross et al.,2014). By being autonomous employees can make informed decisions hence improving the quality of healthcare. Secondly, by using consultative and participatory approaches, they create a sense of belonging among their workforce hence developing personal accountability in them. Thirdly, Transformational leadership creates cooperation by creating an atmosphere where individual; differences are celebrated and where consultations are highly encouraged (Fischer, 2016). Fourthly, transformational leadership shifts focus from the organization to individuals within the organization. Through this, a sense of trust between nurse leaders and nurses is established (Ross et al.,2014). By advocating for collaboration and consultations at the workplace transformational leadership enhances the sharing of knowledge among nurses and with their leaders. Finally, it leads to the creation of effective communication mechanisms and management of healthcare workplace risks (Fischer, 2016). By improving the decision-making abilities of their staff enhancing a sense of personal accountability in their organizations, enhancing the sharing of knowledge, facilitating a collaborative approach in managing risks transformational leaders ensure that the quality of health care is maintained. All these collectively contribute to the practice of quality healthcare (Weng et al.,2015).

Transformational leadership draws its inspiration on creating a workplace where all members of staff are equally competent as their leader. It, therefore, presents an opportunity for graduate nurses to develop their skills (Wong, Cummings and Ducharme, 2013). Since transformational leaders interact and give equal attention to all nurses irrespective of their levels, graduate nurses will get an opportunity to learn the essentials of their nesting practice form their leaders (Hutchinson and Jackson, 2013). They will also be freer to ask questions and seek mentorship from their leaders. Finally, because transformational leaders act as role models, graduate leaders have an opportunity to emulate best ideals that will enable them to become better in their professional journey (Wong, Cummings and Ducharme, 2013). The approach presents graduate nurses with an opportunity to learn the best practices relating to their nursing career and enables them to deal with some of the challenges likely to confront them in the course of their practice (Fischer, 2016).

Transformational Leadership Approach and Teamwork


In conclusion, Transformational leadership is a widely sued leadership approach in contemporary healthcare organizations. With the constant changes in modern healthcare practice, nurse leaders need to be more flexible to satisfy the needs of their organizations. Transformational leadership approach is the approach that is used to meet these needs. The model focuses on creating changes to social systems and individuals. It is centered on making followers into leaders by instilling positive and valuable change in them. Transformational leaders possess certain attributes that differentiate them from other leaders. Transformational leadership impacts the quality of healthcare in multiple ways such as creating autonomy among Nurses.


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