Perceptions of staff nurses about the leadership attributes of effective head nurses in two hospitals of Islamabad, Pakistan

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MScN)


School of Nursing and Midwifery, Pakistan


Head nurses' leadership has extensive implications in terms of nurses' job satisfaction, retention, working environment, innovation, quality of patient care, and patients' satisfaction. Several aspects of head nurses' leadership have been studied in other countries. However, head nurses' leadership has not been studied in the Pakistani context. Study Purpose To explore the leadership attributes of effective head nurses from the perspective of staff nurses in the context of two hospitals of Islamabad, Pakistan. Study Settings The study was conducted at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) and the Federal Government Services Hospital (Polyclinic). Methodology: Given the nature of the inquiry, a qualitative descriptive exploratory design was chosen. The purposive sampling method was used and individual, semi-structured interviews of seventeen staff nurses were conducted for data collection. The interviews were audio-taped and transcribed verbatim. The interviews in Urdu were translated into English. Thematic analysis of the data was performed manually. Results: The following overlapping themes emerged during the analysis of the study participants' data: 1) collegiality, 2) effective communication skills, 3) critical thinking, 4) transformational leadership traits, 5) impressive personality, and 6) patient care centered attributes. Conclusion: This study explored the perceptions of staff nurses about the leadership attributes of head nurses in two hospitals of Islamabad. The study findings have highlighted the significance and far-reaching implications of the head nurses' leadership attributes on the staff, the workplace environment, and patient care. Head nurses' leadership needs more recognition and research focus in the context of Pakistan.

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