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Leadership training to improve nurse retention


Allan Wallis
School of Public Affairs
University of Colorado Denver
Colorado 80217-3364


wallis a. & kennedy k.i. (2013) Journal of Nursing Management 21, 624–632

Leadership training to improve nurse retention

Aim  This paper discusses findings from an evaluation of a training programme designed to promote collaborative, team-based approaches to improve nurse retention within health care organizations.

Background  A year-long leadership training programme was designed and implemented to develop effective teams that could address retention challenges in a diverse set of organizations in Colorado ranging from public, private to non-profit.

Evaluation  An evaluation, based on a combination of participant observation, group interviews, and the use of standardized tests measuring individual emotional intelligence and team dynamics was conducted to assess the effectiveness of the training programme.

Key issues  What role do the emotional intelligence of individual members and organizational culture play in team effectiveness?

Conclusions  Out of five teams participating in the training programme, two performed exceptionally well, one experienced moderate success and two encountered significant problems. Team dynamics were significantly affected by the emotional intelligence of key members holding supervisory positions and by the existing culture and structure of the participating organizations.

Implications for nursing management  Team approaches to retention hold promise but require careful development and are most likely to work where organizations have a collaborative problem-solving environment.