Candles in the Wind: Addressing Workplace Stress and Burnout Through Transformational Nursing Leadership

Candles in the Wind: Addressing Workplace Stress and Burnout Through Transformational Nursing Leadership

Graduate nurses employed in acute care settings face increased workloads, higher patient-to-nurse ratios, fewer resources, complex demands, and a dwindling presence of and support from nursing leaders in their workplace environments; conditions oftentimes unprecedented in student clinical practice experience (Bloniasz, 2011; Marshall, 2011; Valentine, 2002, p. 1). Few graduate nurses are empowered by levels of support, acknowledgement, feedback, autonomy, and resources that facilitate self-direction, and incorporation and development of leadership principles and skills during patient care (Marshall, 2011, p. 144; Valentine, 2002, p. 1).

Recent financial cutbacks and healthcare provider shortages have kindled widespread changes in healthcare facilities, and threatened the integrity of workplace environments (Gilbert, Laschinger, & Leiter, 2010; Marshall, 2011; Valentine, 2002). Research in nursing leadership has highlighted significant links between the behaviour of nursing leaders and the development of job dissatisfaction, roll stress, value conflicts, emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, reduced personal accomplishment, and burnout among nursing staff (Kanste, 2008; Kanste, Kyngas, & Nikkila, 2007).

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