Relationship between nurse leader emotional intelligence and registered nurse job satisfaction

Tommye Austin, The University of Texas School of Nursing at Houston


Aim: To determine the relationship between nurse leader emotional intelligence and registered nurse job satisfaction. Background: Nurse leaders influence the work environments of nurses working at the bedside. Nursing leadership plays an important role in fostering work environments that attract and retain nurses. Methods: A non-experimental, predictive design study conducted in 5 hospitals evaluated relationships between 31 nurse leaders and 799 registered nurses. The nurse leaders were administered the MSCEIT and MBTI. The registered nurses participated in the 2010 NDNQI RN Job Satisfaction Survey. Measurements and Results: The sample population completed two online instruments, the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) and the Myers Brigg Trait Inventory (MBTI). Nurse leader demographic data was collected consisting of age, sex, race, educational level, certification status and years in the profession of nursing. The relationships among characteristics of the nurse leader and staff nurses were examined using regression analysis and stepwise deletion. The results from the MBTI were obtained electronically from CPP. Inc. and the results of MSCEIT were obtained electronically from MHS, Inc. The nurse leader response rate was 46% and the NDNQI RN Job Satisfaction response rate was 62%. The sample of 31 nurse leaders were 65 percent female and 67.7% were White, 12.9% Black, and 19.4% Hispanic. The most prevalent MBTI type was ESTJ (19.35%), followed by ENFJ and ISFJ (9.68% each). The nurse leader sample was primarily extroverts (n=20), sensing (n=18), thinking (n=16) and judging (n=19). The nurse leaders' overall MSCEIT scores ranged from 69 to 111 (implying a range from those who should consider development to competent) with a mean score of 89.84 (consider improvement). The nurse leaders scored highest in the MSCEIT Facilitating subscale with scores ranging from 69 to 121 (consider development to strength) and a mean score of 95.19 (low average score). The overall mean MSCEIT mean scores for the entire sample ranged from 89.90 to 95.19 (consider emotional intelligence improvement to low average score) Overall, staff nurse participants in the NDNQI RN Job Satisfaction Survey were moderately satisfied with the nurse leaders as noted by a mean t score of 55.03 of 60 and this score was consistent with the comparison hospitals that participated in the 2010 NDNQI RN Job Satisfaction Survey (American Nurses Association, 2010). Staff nurses gave nurse leaders a mean score of 4.50 for patient assignments appropriate, and rated a mean score of 4.35 and moderately agreeing to recommend the hospital to a friend. Conclusions: Future research is needed to determine if there is a relationship between nurse leader emotional intelligence ability and registered nurse job satisfaction. Additional research is also needed to determine what to measure in regards to nurse leader emotional intelligence, ability or behavior. Another issue that emerged in the examination of EI is the moderating relationship between the nurse leaders span of control and staff nurse satisfaction on the NDNQI.

Subject Area

Business administration|Nursing|Occupational psychology

Recommended Citation

Austin, Tommye, "Relationship between nurse leader emotional intelligence and registered nurse job satisfaction" (2011). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3476664.