How magnetic are Finnish hospitals measured by transformational leadership and empirical quality outcomes?


Tarja Kvist
Department of Nursing Science
University of Eastern Finland
Kuopio Campus
P.O. Box 1627
70211 Kuopio


Aim  The overall aim of this study was to examine nurses’ and patients’ perceptions of the Magnet model components of transformational leadership and empirical quality outcomes in four Finnish hospitals and to determine if the evidence for transformational leadership and empirical quality outcomes is the same or different in the four hospitals.

Background  This report presents baseline measurements for a longitudinal study of the adaptation of the Magnet model in Finnish hospitals.

Methods  Web-based surveys and mailed questionnaires were used in 2008–2009 to collect data from patients (= 2566) about their satisfaction with care, and from nursing staff about transformational leadership (= 1151), job satisfaction (= 2707) and patient safety culture (= 925) in the selected hospitals.

Results  Awareness of the work of nursing leaders was low. Nurses reported a high level of job satisfaction. Patient safety culture varied considerably between the four hospitals. Patients believed they generally received excellent quality care.

Conclusions  Leadership systems are in transition at the hospitals. Patient safety culture is a complex phenomenon that may be unfamiliar to respondents. The results of the study provide a baseline description to guide the journey toward development of Magnet standards.

Implications for nursing management  Finnish nursing leaders, especially nursing directors, should increase their visibility by working more closely with their staff. They should also pay attention to giving direct feedback about work generally and patient safety issues in particular.