Aim To examine the influence of senior nurse leadership practices on middle and first-line nurse managers’ experiences of empowerment and organizational support and ultimately on their perceptions of patient care quality and turnover intentions.
Background Empowering leadership has played an important role in staff nurse retention but there is limited research to explain the mechanisms by which leadership influences nurse managers’ turnover intentions.
Methods This study was a secondary analysis of data collected using non-experimental, predictive mailed survey design. Data from 231 middle and 788 first-line Canadian acute care managers was used to test the hypothesized model using path analysis in each group.
Results The results showed an adequate fit of the hypothesized model in both groups but with an added path between leadership practices and support in the middle line group.
Conclusions Transformational leadership practices of senior nurses empower middle- and first-line nurse managers, leading to increased perceptions of organizational support, quality care and decreased intent to leave.
Implications for Nursing Management Empowered nurse managers at all levels who feel supported by their organizations are more likely to stay in their roles, remain committed to achieving quality patient care and act as influential role models for potential future leaders.