Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


According to Buerhaus, Auerbach and Staiger (2009), despite the current easing of the nursing shortage due to the recent recession and many nurses putting off retirement, the nursing shortage is projected to grow to approximately 260,000 registered nurses by the year 2025. Creating a work environment within nursing practice that is healthy and productive is essential to maintaining an adequate nursing workforce (Shirey, 2006). Nurse leaders play a vital role in creating work environments that are healthy, positive and productive. The problems associated with decreasing levels of organizational commitment (OC) among staff nurses ultimately resulting in losing dedicated, skilled nursing staff are as follows: fiscal decline for the facility; decreased organizational skills and knowledge; and lower quality patient care. Without effective nurse managers contributing to maintaining and increasing OC among staff nurses, hospital budgets, skilled nursing care and, ultimately, quality patient care may be compromised (Naude & McCabe, 2005; Wilson, 2005). In a study by Upenieks (2003), highly effective leaders from prestigious magnet hospitals were found to possess people skills, such as ―being visible‖ to their staff, and being amiable and open in their communication. These skills are closely linked to the definition of emotional intelligence (EI). The purpose of this investigation was to examine factors that influence OC in nurse manager/subordinate dyad. First, the EI and OC of nurse managers and staff nurses were measured. Next, the differences in the levels of EI and OC between nurse managers and their staff nurses were analyzed. Finally, the possible influence of various demographic variables (e.g., age, tenure in current position, and educational levels) on the EI/OC of nurse managers and staff nurses were examined. The tools used in this study included two surveys and a demographic questionnaire. The tools included the Revised Emotional Intelligence Scale (EIS-41) originally by Schutte et al. (1998) and revised by Austin, Saklofske, Huang and McKenney in 2004 (Appendix B) and Meyer and Allen’s (1991) Organizational Commitment Questionnaire (OCQ) (Appendix C). A short demographic questionnaire was also used (Appendix A). Completed surveys used for the investigation totaled 123 with 105 deemed useable for analysis (N = 105). This investigation looked at OC of nursing in relation to demographic factors and EI of nurses. Significant results of this study stated that there is a correlation between EI and OC of nurses, as has been seen in other recent studies (Carmel, 2003; Nikolaou & Tsaousis, 2002; Rozell, Pettijohn, & Parker, 2004). Tenure of nurses in their current position was also found to be a predictor for OC among nurses. No significant results were found between NMs level of EI and the OC of their SNs. Without effective nurse managers helping to maintain and increasing OC among nursing staff, quality patient care outcomes may be compromised (Naude & McCabe, 2005; Wilson, 2005). More research is needed in the area of EI and OC to strengthen the importance of the concept of EI in nursing and its connection to OC. Within EI research, more valid tools are needed to accurately measure the construct of EI.


Dr. Liane Connelly

Date of Award

Fall 2010

Document Type



© 2010 Laurie Stegeman


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Nursing Commons