Health-promoting leadership: A qualitative study from experienced nurses' perspective



Publication Details

Furunes, T., Kaltveit, A. & Akerjordet, K. (2018). Health-promoting leadership: A qualitative study from experienced nurses' perspective. Journal of Clinical Nursing, Online First 1-12.


2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Aims and objectives: To increase knowledge about experienced nurses' understanding of a health-promoting work environment, health-promoting leadership and its role in retention of staff in the nursing workplace. Background: The quality of leadership is imperative in creating supportive and health-promoting work environments to ensure workforce productivity and ethically sustainable caring cultures. More knowledge on how leaders can promote health and sustainable careers among nurses is needed. At a time of current and projected nursing shortage, it is important to understand the reasons why nurses intend to remain in their jobs. Design: Qualitative descriptive. Method: Twelve experienced registered nurses participated in an individual, digitally recorded, semi-structured interview. Data were transcribed verbatim and subjected to qualitative content analysis of manifest and latent content. Results: A health-promoting work environment should provide autonomy, participation in decision-making, skills development and social support. Health-promoting leaders should be attentive and take action. Conclusion: Health-promoting work environments enable nurses to flourish. Having ample autonomy is therefore important to nurses so that when they face new challenges, they see them as a way of using and developing their competencies. Although most nurses claim their own leaders are not health promoting, they have a clear understanding of how a health-promoting leader should act. The health-promoting leader should not only be attentive and promote skills development, but also cater for nurses' meaningfulness. Relevance to clinical practice: Nurses in primary health care understand a health-promoting work environment to be a workplace where they can develop, not only clinical skills, but also flourish as human beings. Further, nurses find it health promoting to have a meaningful job, using their competence to make a difference for patients and their families. Nurse Managers have an important role in facilitating meaningfulness in nurses' jobs to retain nurses as a valuable asset for the organisation.

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