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The state of the science of emotional intelligence related to nursing leadership: an integrative review

Authors

  • KRISTIN AKERJORDET RN, ICN, MNSc, PhD,

    1. Associate Professor, Department of Health Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway
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  • ELISABETH SEVERINSSON RPN, RNT, MCSc, DrPH

    1. Professor/Director at the Centre for Women's, Family & Child Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Vestfold University College, P.O. Box 2243, N-3101 Tønsberg, Norway
    2. Professor at the Research Department, Stavanger University Hospital, P.O. Box 8100, N-4068 Stavanger, Norway
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Kristin Akerjordet
Department of Health Studies
Faculty of Social Sciences
University of Stavanger
N-4036 Stavanger
Norway
E-mail: kristin.akerjordet@uis.no

Abstract

akerjordet k. & severinsson e. (2010) Journal of Nursing Management18, 363–382
The state of the science of emotional intelligence related to nursing leadership: an integrative review

Aim  To explore the state of the science of emotional intelligence (EI) related to nursing leadership and its critiques.

Background  The phenomenon of EI has emerged as a potential new construct of importance for nursing leadership that enhances educational, organizational, staff and patient outcomes. Nevertheless, important questions and critical reflections related to exaggerated claims, conceptualizations and measurements exist.

Method  A literature search was conducted using international databases covering the period January 1999 to December 2009. A manual search of relevant journals and significant references increased the data.

Results  Critical reflection seems to be associated with the unsubstantiated predictive validity of EI in the area of nursing leadership. In addition, important moral issues are called into question.

Conclusions  It is important to possess in-depth knowledge of EI and its scientific critique when integrating the concept into nursing research, education and practical settings. More attention to the nature of emotion in EI is necessary.

Implications for nursing leadership  The dynamics of EI should be explored in the context of both the surrounding environment and individual differences, as the latter can be adaptive in some settings but harmful in others.

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