J Nurs Adm. 2021 May 1;51(5):257-263. doi: 10.1097/NNA.0000000000001010.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to determine the pandemic impact on the relationship between nurses’ perception of the authentic nurse leadership (ANL) of their manager and their perception of the work environment.
BACKGROUND: Both ANL and healthy work environment (HWE) contribute to staff and patient outcomes. Our 1st study of these 2 variables revealed a positive relationship. Will this be upheld in a pandemic year?
METHODS: More than 5000 nurses from a national sample participated in a cross-sectional, correlational, descriptive study using the Authentic Nurse Leadership Questionnaire, the Critical Elements of a Healthy Work Environment Scale, and a pandemic impact on practice question.
RESULTS: Overall, nurses perceived ANL and HWE were present despite a high level of pandemic impact; however, when clinical nurses were separated from managers/directors, HWE was not present for frontline nurses. The moderate correlation of ANL and HWE was replicated in this larger study.
CONCLUSIONS: This is the 2nd study of the positive relationship between ANL and HWE using these models, supporting ANL as an essential standard of a HWE. ANL was present for clinical nurses in a pandemic year signaling that nurse leaders rose to meet frontline leadership needs. HWE was present overall, but not for clinical nurses. Leadership is essential to work environments and outcomes especially in times of crisis and significant change.