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The relationship between leadership styles and empathy among student nurses
Faculty Publications and Other Works -- Nursing
  • Mary Gunther, University of Tennessee
  • Ginger Evans
  • Linda Mefford
  • Thomas R. Coe
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Publication Date
Much of the nursing literature on leadership describes the qualities of existing nursing leaders,1 while emphasizing the need for leadership development in student nurses for both managerial and clinical practice. However, there is a lack of research literature on the characteristics of current students. Conducted by the University of Tennessee College of Nursing Empathy Research Group, this pilot study explores the relationship between leadership styles and empathy (cognitive and affective) levels. This correlational descriptive study involved self-report using 3 instruments. Hogan Empathy Scale (HES) and Emotional Empathy Tendency Scale (EETS) measured cognitive and affective empathy levels. The Multifactoral Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ-5x) was used to determine leadership style. Data analysis yielded evidence of a weak positive correlation between the predominant transformational leadership style and empathy levels in both junior and senior students. This correlation has implications for both nurse educators and future employers.
Citation Information
Mary Gunther, Ginger Evans, Linda Mefford, and Thomas R. Coe. "The relationship between leadership styles and empathy among student nurses" Nursing Outlook 55 (2007): 196-201.