Nurses and Ward Managers’ Perceptions of Leadership in the Evidence-Based Practice

The application of evidence-based practice (EBP) in our profession aims to provide the best possible nursing care while taking into account the professional’s judgement and the patient’s preferences. To achieve this, we need professionals who practice nursing leadership to create a favourable working environment and care for our patients. It has been shown that it is important to identify the nursing leadership styles in hospitals and to check if they are suitable for the implementation of EBP. Nurses’ and managers’ perceptions of leadership in their units can be useful in understanding a hospital’s nursing leadership style and strategies for change in clinical practice.

For this purpose, a descriptive qualitative study was carried out involving 57 nurses and nursing supervisors from 5 hospitals in Andalusia. Data collection was carried out through several focus group sessions, with a qualitative analysis based on the Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services (PARIHS) framework.

After analysing the participants’ experiences of nurse leadership, it can be classified into three levels: traditional, middle and transformational. The most frequently identified leadership was traditional, with a predominance of bureaucratic tasks for supervisors, which is not sufficiently suitable for the implementation of EBP as it is transformational leadership that is associated with positive attitudes towards the adoption of evidence-based practices in hospitals. Nurses perceive changes in clinical practice as an imposition. In the absence of strong leadership for evidence-based practice, a natural leader emerges.

Clinical nurses demand more decision-making power and supervisors need clarity in their roles. To create an enabling environment for evidence-based practice, the role of the transformational leader needs to be considered.

The article is available in: López-Medina IM, Sánchez-García I, García-Fernández FP, Pancorbo-Hidalgo PL. Nurses and Ward Managers’ Perceptions of Leadership in the Evidence-Based Practice: A qualitative study. Nursing Management.

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