179732 Emotional intelligence and nursing leadership: Creating the link

Monday, October 27, 2008: 10:30 AM

Linda Olson Keller, DNP, RN, FAAN , School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Emotional intelligence (EI) training is an innovative and powerful leadership development strategy. Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize, understand and use emotions effectively. While employees are usually hired for their cognitive intelligence and technical skills, studies show that success as a leader ultimately depends on emotional intelligence. Research shows that people can improve their emotional intelligence if they are motivated to change, receive feedback on their behavior and consistently practice new behaviors, and many major corporations routinely include EI training as an integral component of leadership development programs. Unfortunately, a gap exists between the growing understanding of the importance of emotional intelligence in leadership and the utilization of emotional intelligence in nursing practice and education. Emotionally intelligent leadership has been demonstrated to be an effective strategy in preventing nursing burnout, job dissatisfaction, turnover, and intent to leave the profession. Despite this evidence, nursing education and practice are just beginning to recognize the relevance and importance of EI training. This project increased the emotional intelligence competence of public health nursing leaders and their utilization of emotional intelligence in their nursing practice and education. Twelve public health nurse directors, consultants and faculty completed an online 360 degree emotional intelligence assessment that compared their self-ratings of their EI in the workplace to the aggregate EI rating of eight to ten workplace colleagues. Participants attended a day-long interactive seminar on emotional intelligence and received the results of their 360 assessments. During the last phase of the project, the researcher met individually with each participant to design a development plan that addressed EI strengths and areas for improvement. Evaluation measures included pre and post EI knowledge and attitude surveys and an aggregate analysis of the 360 assessment results. An EI baseline for public health nursing leaders was established that includes the accuracy with which nursing leaders assessed their EI strengths and weakness compared to their raters. This session will present the results of this project, lessons learned, and recommendations for EI training in public health nursing education and practice.

Learning Objectives:
1. List the components of a emotionally intelligent leadership 2. Describe the benefits of emotional intelligence competency training for nursing leaders 3. Identify potential areas for integration of emotional intelligence in public health nursing practice and education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have personally conducted this research.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.