Shelly Lummus


In the United States a significant nursing shortage exists. To compound this shortage, the health care system is in need of reform. In order to impact effectively these issues, strong nursing leadership will be critical. Historically, nursing education has focused primarily on clinical judgment and the nurse-patient relationship. Leadership education and mentoring has been limited. Because nursing theory does not emphasize leadership development, it is important to investigate the possible use of existing leadership theory and assessment tools from other disciplines and bring them to the nursing environment. The purpose of this study was to investigate the perceptions of required leadership characteristics for nurse leaders as measured by the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI), as well as investigate the use of the transformational leadership model. A sample of 100 registered nurses completed an opinion survey utilizing the LPI with a modified 5-point metric (1 = not important, 3 = fairly important, 5 = very important). The results demonstrated the top three characteristics: Sets a personal example of what I expect from others (M = 4.99), Treats others with dignity and respect (M = 4.97), and Develops cooperative relationships among the people I work with (M = 4.87). The three lowest ranked characteristics were identified as: Describes a compelling image of what the future could be like (M = 3.97); Experiments and takes risks, even when there is a chance of failure (M = 4.00); and Appeals to others to share an exciting dream of the future (M = 4.03). This study also investigated the correlations between those leadership perceptions and the background characteristics of the nurse respondent. Based on the results of this study and from the review of the literature, it appears that there is a great opportunity for nursing leadership to take on a new approach to leadership development and selection of future nurse leaders. Through further investigation and research, additional insights will be discovered, and a greater understanding of what is required to provide effective leadership training and mentoring to future nurse leaders will develop.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Leadership; Nursing -- Study and teaching; Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Schmieder-Ramirez, June