The present paper provides a summary and analysis of the article by Eneh et al (2012), titled “Nursing Leadership Practices as Perceived by Finish Nursing Staff: High Ethics, Less Feedback and Rewards”, in terms of scholarly writing demonstrated by the authors, bias, opinions, quality of evidence and suitability to its intended audience.
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From the evaluation of the article, it is evident that the main purpose of the quantitative, cross-sectional study was to investigate the perceptions of Finnish nursing staff about their nursing leadership, particularly in the context of leadership ethics demonstrated by nurse managers, management of the nursing process, feedback and rewards provided to nursing staff by leaders, opportunities for professional development, as well as the role of the nursing director. Data was collected from 1497 nursing staff in four health institutions in Eastern Finland by means of a structured electronic questionnaire. The findings of the study showed that (1) most nursing staff in Finland hold positive perceptions about leadership ethics and their professional development, (2) a sizeable proportion of nurses are dissatisfied with the nursing process and with their feedback and rewards, and (3) most nurses are unsure if their nursing director motivates and supports the unit director in the strategic leadership of their respective health facilities (Eneh et al., 2012).
In assessing the element of scholarly writing, it is important to note that all three authors are qualified researchers within a university setting. Consequently, the research has followed all the tenets of scholarly writing, particularly in the context of problem explanation, review of relevant literature and methodological foundations. The researchers have made use of simple descriptive statistics to explain the results, hence ensuring that they are easily understood by readers. However, it is clear that the findings may have been affected by respondent bias in that primary data was collected electronically, and hence participants had the opportunity to respond as they wished.
The study under review shares its findings with other studies and, therefore, it can be argued that the authors were keen not to express their own opinions. One study done prior to this study found that “nurse managers and leaders who practice relational leadership and ensure quality workplace environments are more likely to retain their staff” (Cowden et al., 2011 p. 461), and another underlined the importance for “nurse leaders to develop a culture that not only optimizes health outcomes but also advances the status of the nursing profession” (Halcomb et al., 2008 p. 846). A dominant conclusion arising from the reviewed study is that the nursing leadership in healthcare settings needs to constantly consider the opinion of nursing staff if it is expected to assist in the formulation of a favourable work environment, which necessitates optimal utilization of nurses’ potential and improvement of nursing care (Eneh et al., 2012)
The quality of evidence used by the authors in the reviewed article is exemplary as witnessed by the fact that they often rely on other primary studies to document literature. Additionally, the quality of findings is good based on the fact that the data collection instrument was able to achieve Cronbach’s α, reliability values of 0.91-0.97 (Eneh et al., 2012). Owing to the fact that the article is largely about what needs to be done by nurse leaders to positively influence the perceptions of nursing staff, and coinciding with other previous studies which found that nurse leadership practices have an effect on nurses (Bondas, 2010; Eneh et al., 2012), it can be argued that the reviewed article is appropriate to its target audience comprising nurse directors, nurse managers and nursing staff.
Overall, the reviewed study contains important findings that could be used by nurse leaders to design and implement a favourable work environment that enables nurses to utilize their full potential and improve nursing care due to the existing leadership ethics, nursing process, feedback and rewards, as well as opportunities for professional development.
Bondas, T. (2010). Nursing leadership from the perspective of clinical group supervision: A paradoxical practice. Journal of Nursing Management, 18(4), 477-486.
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Cowden, T., Cummings, G., & Profetto-McGrath, J. (2011). Leadership practices and staff nurses’ intent to stay: A systematic review. Journal f Nursing Management, 19(4), 461-477.
Eneh, V.O., Vehvilainen-Julkanen, K., & Kvist, T. (2012). Nursing leadership practices as perceived by Finish nursing staff: High ethics, less feedback and rewards. Journal of Nursing Management, 20(2), 159-169.
Halcomb, E.J., Davidson, P.M., & Patterson, E. (2008). Promoting leadership and management in Australia general practice nursing: What will it take? Journal of Nursing Management, 16(2), 846-852.