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Emotionally intelligent nurse leadership: a literature review study

Authors

  • KRISTIN AKERJORDET MNSc, INT, RN,

    1. Doctoral Student and Lecturer, Department of Health Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Stavanger
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    • *

      This paper was developed when the first author was a Visiting Fellow at the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Indigenous Health, University of Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia.

  • ELISABETH SEVERINSSON MCSc, DrPH, RPN, RNT

    1. Professor, Department of Health Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Stavanger, and Department of Quality Assurance and Training, Stavanger University Hospital, Stavanger, Norway
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    • This paper was developed when the second author was a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Midwifery, Child and Family Health, Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Health, University of Technology Sydney (UTS), PO Box 123, Broadway, NSW 2007, Australia.


Kristin Akerjordet
Department of Health Studies
Faculty of Social Sciences
University of Stavanger
N-4036 Stavanger
Norway
E-mail: kristin.akerjordet@uis.no

Abstract

Aim  To establish a synthesis of the literature on the theoretical and empirical basis of emotional intelligence and it’s linkage to nurse leadership, focusing on subjective well-being and professional development.

Background  Emotional intelligence has been acknowledged in the literature as supporting nurse leadership that fosters a healthy work environment, creating inspiring relationships based on mutual trust. Nurse leaders who exhibit characteristics of emotional intelligence enhance organizational, staff and patient outcomes.

Method  A literature search was undertaken using international data bases covering the period January 1997 to December 2007. Eighteen articles were included in this integrative review and were thoroughly reviewed by both authors.

Results  Emotional intelligence was associated with positive empowerment processes as well as positive organizational outcomes.

Conclusion  Emotionally intelligent nurse leadership characterized by self-awareness and supervisory skills highlights positive empowerment processes, creating a favourable work climate characterized by resilience, innovation and change.

Implications for nursing management  Emotional intelligence cannot be considered a general panacea, but it may offer new ways of thinking and being for nurse leaders, as it takes the intelligence of feelings more seriously by continually reflecting, evaluating and improving leadership and supervisory skills.

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