Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Nursing (D.N.P.)

Degree Program

College of Nursing

First Advisor

Patricia Schafer

Second Advisor

Jean Barry

Third Advisor

Lara Jaskiewicz

Fourth Advisor

A.J. Jones


Based on the increasing need to retain healthcare’s greatest assets, work environments must provide positive relationships and RN empowerment in an effort to improve staff nurse retention. A variety of factors can influence a registered nurse’s intent to stay, however supportive nursing leadership is thought to have the greatest impact on improving work environments resulting in greater job satisfaction. The purpose of this organizational assessment was to determine the current culture of supportive nursing leadership, RN perceptions of supervisory support, and themes that appeared to require nursing leadership development intervention. Based on these findings a series of leadership development workshops were conducted with those managers and directors who directly supervised RNs.

Thirty four registered nurses participated in the assessment of supervisory support and practice environment measurements. The Supportive Supervisory Scale (SSS) was used to measure perceived nursing leadership behaviors. Descriptive statistics revealed areas of weakness to be those of relationship-building and shared decision-making. The Brisbane Practice Environment Measure (B-PEM) was used to measure nurse perceptions of their work environment. The areas identified that needed most improvement were “feeling valued” and “professional development”. The organizational assessment along with both surveys supported the need for nursing leadership development in relationshipbuilding skills and empowering nurses. The results of these assessments informed the development of an organization specific leadership development intervention.

Leadership development workshops were conducted as a pilot intervention and instruction provided to the nursing care directors and managers on the identified topics as a part of this project. Self-efficacy evaluation pre and post intervention was conducted to evaluate the confidence of the managers and directors in providing supportive leadership behaviors. Sustainability of these skills will be dependent on continued organizational mentoring and growth of the participants of the workshops. The desired outcome of staff nurse retention will need to be evaluated by the site in the future to determine if leadership development has been successful.

Included in

Nursing Commons