Transformational Leadership Style on Nursing Job Satisfaction Amongst Nurses in Hospital Settings: Findings From Systematic Review

  •  Saleh Alzahrani    
  •  Abd Alhadi Hasan    


BACKGROUND: The nursing shortage is a common problem in Saudi Arabia with multi-factorial causes. In addition to the low supply of Saudi graduate nurses from training facilities, job satisfaction remains a significant determinant of nurse turnover and intention to leave that contribute to the shortage of nursing workforce. The higher number of expatriate nurses who have a short stay compared to Saudi nurses compounds this problem. Therefore, effective strategies for making the nursing profession attractive and increasing nurse retention in Saudi Arabia are required.

OBJECTIVE: The general objective was to examine the impact of transformational leadership style on job satisfaction amongst nurses in hospital settings. Specifically, the appraisal examined how transformational leadership style improves nursing job satisfaction in hospital settings, determined the mediating factors of the relationship between transformational leadership style and nurses’ job satisfaction, and investigated nurses’ perceptions of transformational leadership style compared with other leadership styles.

METHODOLOGY: This study was used systematic review design with eight selected quantitative nursing research published between 2012 and 2017. A systematic search of the recent literature was conducted on PubMed, Scopus, Wiley Online, and Web of Science databases using search terms developed a priori to identify the articles that met the inclusion criteria. The quality of the included studies was evaluated by McMaster Critical Review Form for Quantitative Studies. Extracted data were summarised, explored and correlated using narrative synthesis.

FINDINGS: Eight studies of cross-sectional design were appraised. Transformational leadership style was positively related to nurses’ job satisfaction. Transactional leadership also had a positive correlation while passive-avoidant or laissez-faire style had a negative relationship. Transformational leadership improved nursing job satisfaction through its dimensions (idealised influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation and individualised consideration). Nurse empowerment and workplace support mediated the relationship between transformational leadership and nurse job satisfaction. Nurses had a higher perception of transformational style compared to other leadership styles, and job satisfaction was found to improve nurse and patient outcomes.

CONCLUSION: Transformational leadership appears to improve job satisfaction of nurses working in a hospital setting that leads to higher nursing retention. Hospital administrators and managers should practice transformational leadership to improve job satisfaction of staff nurses for better nursing outcomes, and leadership skills should be incorporated in the nursing education curriculum. However, further evaluation of transformational leadership in relation to its influencing factors is required.

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