Doctoral Project Defense: Kathleen Barry
Candidate Name: Kathleen Barry
Major: Nursing Practice
Advisor: Margaret Slota, D.N.P
Title: The Effect of Servant Leadership Education and Provision of an Implementation Toolkit on Nurse Manager Engagement Initiatives with Staff
A review of the literature demonstrated that nurse managers are the vital link between senior management and staff nurses as the providers of care and have a pivotal role in creating an organizational culture of engaged employees. Transformational leadership has demonstrated value in having a positive impact on staff engagement compared to transactional and laisse-faire. However, research is limited regarding the impact of Servant Leadership practices by nurse managers and the engagement initiatives implemented with their staff. A pilot study with 60 nurse managers in an academic medical center was conducted to evaluate changes in Servant Leadership (SL) self-reported practices and measure implementation of staff engagement initiatives following education. The intervention included training on SL and evidence-based staff engagement initiatives with a toolkit for implementation followed with weekly coaching sessions for ten weeks. A SL self-assessment survey on leadership practices and staff engagement initiatives was administered pre-intervention and repeated twelve weeks post-intervention. A paired t test was used to detect statistical differences between the means of nurse managers behaviors and practices and differences in pre and post project implementation of staff engagement initiatives. The post-project end of survey resulted in a 35% response rate. The majority of nurse managers identified a positive connection between the model of Servant Leadership and their role as a leader. Nurse managers identified focusing on the Servant Leadership practices of accountability and empowerment as the two highest rated practices. Following the educations, nurse managers implemented a total of twenty-four staff engagement initiatives as a result of this project and 100% found the implementation toolkit helpful.
This pilot evaluation supports expanding this pilot program within the health care system with a larger population of nurse managers.