What Is Transformational Leadership in Nursing?

Transformational leadership in nursing is a management style that motivates nurses to take ownership of their roles and perform beyond minimum expectations. This leadership style motivates team members by appealing to their desire to demonstrate higher moral values and integrity in practice.

Although nurses have historically experienced excessive management and poor leadership, they now face unheard-of opportunities and challenges. Organizations must constantly adapt to changes, which calls for more flexible leadership. Transformational leadership is this kind of adaptive leadership; it fosters environments of shared responsibilities that have an impact on novel ways of knowing. When a leader has a strong internal set of values and principles, such as transformational leadership, they can inspire followers by appealing to higher ideals and moral principles. As a result, followers act in ways that advance the greater good rather than just their own interests, creating cooperative settings where accountability is shared. This article focuses on transformational leadership and how it can be applied to nursing through its four main elements. Idealized influence, motivation that inspires, intellectual stimulation, and individual consideration are among them.

What is Transformational Leadership in Healthcare

Why is transformational leadership important for nurses?

In order to maximize productivity and improve patient care, you can use transformational leadership techniques with your nursing staff. Benefits of transformational leadership include:

What is transformational leadership in nursing?

The goal of transformational leadership in nursing is to inspire nursing staff to go above and beyond expectations and learn new skills and strategies to raise their performance levels. Setting a good example and empowering nursing staff to use their judgment and act to change practices when they see a need for improvement are common elements of a transformational leadership style.

Traits of a transformational leader in nursing

Important skills for a transformational leader in nursing include:

Clear communication

It’s crucial that you can speak to your team members clearly as a leader. A transformational leader can effectively communicate their expectations and evaluate the nursing staff’s performance to help them meet those expectations. A leader must be able to communicate clearly both orally and in writing, such as in memos or emails.

Conflict resolution

The transformational leadership approach’s empowering components may give staff members more chances to respectfully and professionally disagree about the best course of action for a patient and their care. If you have the ability to resolve conflicts amicably, both parties will feel that you gave their opinions your full attention.


Critical to transformational leadership in nursing is empowering staff to find and implement solutions. As a leader, it’s critical to support employees’ feelings of empowerment by encouraging them to pursue alternative solutions, giving them fair criticism when necessary, and rewarding them appropriately when they do so. This can help employees feel comfortable sharing their opinions.

Enthusiastic attitude

High staff morale is both a benefit of transformational leadership and a crucial component of its effective application. When the nursing staff is upbeat at work, they are better able to carry out your plans. As a manager, you can encourage your team to stay upbeat and perform at their best by being enthusiastic.


When necessary, a transformational approach can enable staff to seek out alternative solutions to issues, which not all staff members may naturally feel comfortable with. As a leader, encouraging your team can be a useful tool for rewarding those who respond to your leadership style more naturally as well as for assisting those who are less accustomed to the demands of transformational structures feel more at ease expressing themselves and working under your direction.

Equal treatment

Making sure that staff members feel like they are treated fairly and that you evaluate their performance based on results and effort rather than any subjective judgments is one of the most crucial aspects of transformational leadership. When employees are aware that you don’t favor certain people, they realize that the only way to stand out is to deliver better results and enhance the patient care they offer.

High standards

Nursing staff must continue to work to consistently raise their performance levels if they want transformational leadership to succeed. High performance standards that require employees to give their best effort in order to receive favorable performance reviews and expanded career opportunities are advantageous for maintaining staff motivation in this way. This increases the nursing staff’s motivation and enables the patients to gain from improved performance.


A transformational leader must possess strong inspirational abilities because this leadership style aims to help employees perform at their highest levels. You can help your nursing staff become more confident and believe in their own abilities to further improve their productivity and care levels by providing staff encouragement and emphasizing your belief that they can accomplish more than they currently are.


It’s critical to inspire employees to perform at higher levels in addition to demonstrating your belief in their abilities. Getting to know your staff members personally can help you maintain their motivation. You can adjust your motivation to suit each employee’s needs by understanding whether they respond better to positive affirmation, consequence-based reactions, or direct motivation.


An essential component of a transformational leadership strategy is making sure that employees feel supported at work. Giving your team the resources they require to live up to and surpass your expectations is part of supporting them. This may entail giving the staff the tools and chances they need to work more effectively and deliver better care to the facility’s patients.


What is an example of transformational leadership in nursing?

Benefits of Transformational Leadership in Nursing
  • Improved Patient Care. Effective communication and experienced healthcare professionals are both necessary for providing high-quality patient care.
  • Higher Employee Satisfaction. …
  • Reducing Turnover. …
  • Lowering Costs.

Is transformational leadership effective in nursing?

Characteristics of a Transformational Leader in Nursing
  • Is a model of integrity and fairness.
  • Sets clear goals.
  • Has high expectations.
  • Encourages others.
  • Provides support and recognition.
  • Stirs people’s emotions.
  • Gets people to look beyond self-interest.
  • Inspires people.

How is transformational leadership used in healthcare?

For instance, a nurse leader with a transformational style would think of innovative ways to motivate staff with a vision for the future, such as holding meetings with teams of employees or sending out emails to staff members outlining objectives and strategies for achieving them.

What are the four elements of transformational leadership in nursing?

Using transformational leadership, leaders can successfully navigate a challenging and quickly evolving workplace. The effectiveness of transformational leadership is evident. One of the key elements in maintaining nurses’ job satisfaction may be supervisor support [15]

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