Nursing Leadership, Nursing Job Satisfaction, Nursing Retention, Servant-Leadership, Generational Diversity


The purpose of this research is to determine the degree to which a positive experience with nursing leadership increases nurse's job satisfaction. The different values and norms of the generational cohorts result in each cohort perceiving leadership characteristics differently. Factors such as length of exposure to leadership, location, shift worked, clinical versus non-clinical positions and the presence or absence of Servant-Leadership, all have the potential to impact nursing satisfaction. Nursing satisfaction, or dissatisfaction impacts retention, further modifying nursing leadership practices. Conflict, Cohort, Servant-Leadership, and Self-Discrepancy theories were utilized to identify the relationships of generations to each other and to the leadership characteristics existing in their organizations. Two Central Florida healthcare organizations were utilized to obtain data regarding leadership characteristics, generational cohort and nursing satisfaction indicators. A total of 440 survey questionnaires were distributed, 182 were returned, a response rate of 41%. Factor Analysis utilizing principal component analysis was performed to reduce the 57 variables contained within questionnaires to one construct that represented a leadership characteristics variable. This variable was utilized to test 3 of the hypotheses. Principal component analysis was utilized to reduce 10 characteristics of Servant-Leadership, to a construct that represented a Servant-Leadership variable. Qualitative data was collected from 25 interviewees and was used to enrich and supplement the quantitative data from the survey questionnaires. Nursing leadership characteristics affect nursing satisfaction as demonstrated by this research. The more positive the perception or experience of nurses in relation to nursing leadership, the more job satisfaction increases. Even though literature states that Generation X employees exhibit less job satisfaction, due to generational specific values and norms, generational cohort did not demonstrate significance in this study. A positive perception of nursing leadership characteristics demonstrated a positive impact on nursing retention within an organization. Nurses who are satisfied with leadership characteristics tend to stay with that organization. The presence of Servant-Leadership characteristics also demonstrated a positive impact on nursing job satisfaction and retention. Leaders that demonstrate Servant-Leadership characteristics engender increased job satisfaction for their employees and increased retention of nurses for their organizations.


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Graduation Date





Liberman, Aaron


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Health and Public Affairs


Health Professions

Degree Program

Public Affairs








Release Date

January 2005

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)