Aim To examine the relationships among nurses’ perceptions of nurse managers’ authentic leadership, nurses’ overall person–job match in the six areas of worklife and their work engagement.
Background Reports have highlighted the impact of demanding and unsupportive work environments on nurses’ wellbeing, resulting in a need for strong nursing leadership to build sustainable and healthier work environments.
Methods A secondary analysis of data collected from a non-experimental, predictive design survey of a random sample of 280 registered nurses working in acute care hospitals was conducted.
Results An overall person–job match in the six areas of worklife fully mediated the relationship between authentic leadership and work engagement. Further, authentic leadership, overall person–job match in the six areas of worklife and years of nursing experience explained 33.1% of the variance in work engagement.
Conclusions Findings suggest that nurses who work for managers demonstrating higher levels of authentic leadership report a greater overall person–job match in the six areas of worklife and greater work engagement.
Implications for nursing management As nurse managers’ play a key role in promoting work engagement among nurses, authentic leadership development for nurse managers focusing on self-awareness, relational transparency, ethics and balanced processing would be beneficial.