The Relationship between Transformational Leadership and Staff Nurse Retention in Hospital Settings: A Systematic Review

Publication Name

Journal of Nursing Management


Aim. This systematic review aimed to synthesise the relationship between transformational leadership style and staff nurse retention in hospital settings. Background. It is known that globally there is a shortage of nurses. Thus, nurse retention and organisational commitment have never been more critical. Nurse managers are responsible for staff retention. Therefore, nurse managers could reduce staff turnover by adopting the "right leadership style."Methods. Systematic review, following the guidance of PRISMA. Databases CINAHL, MEDLINE, PubMed, PsychInfo, Cochrane Central Register, and Embase were searched between 27th December 2021 and 22nd June 2023 to find relevant publications. Relevant studies were hand searched in January 2022 and June 2023 to source further potential evidence. A total of twelve articles were retrieved. Results. Twelve studies were included in this review, including six cross-sectional studies, two correlational studies, two cross-sectional correlational studies, and two surveys. In relation to retention, the primary outcome, data from eleven of the twelve studies reported statistical significance favouring transformational leadership improving staff retention. One study reported a statistically nonsignificant improvement in retention. Conclusion. There is evidence to suggest that transformational leadership may have a positive and significant relationship with staff nurse retention, job satisfaction, and quality of care. Implications for Nursing Management. Nurse managers should attend leadership and management training programs. This will allow them to understand and practice transformational leadership which may have a positive connection with staff nurse retention.

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