“Leadership Styles and Theories. Nursing Standard” by Giltinane


The concept of leadership styles and the way that they are manifested in real-life situations is among popular topics in the field of nursing research. The article by Giltinane (2013) explores this research topic and adds to the existing knowledge by reviewing previous researchers’ findings and generalizing on the role of various leadership styles in nursing practice. Therefore, her work presents a thorough literature review focused on leadership styles in healthcare settings.

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Main body

Having introduced a range of theories aimed at explaining the phenomenon of effective leadership, the researcher reviews the findings related to such leadership approaches as transactional, transformational, and situational. In her review, transactional leadership is presented as a “task-orientated” approach that is effective in emergency cases and sometimes leads to “non-holistic patient care” (Giltinane, 2013, p. 36). This leadership style involves rewarding followers for compliance and achievements.

The transformational approach to leading others is different from the previously discussed one since it involves inspiring followers to elicit their full potential and “develop ownership of the team’s vision” (Giltinane, 2013, p. 37). Specialists that prefer using transformational leadership aim to make seemingly unequal relationships more democratic. Transformational leaders can perform this task by motivating their followers and allowing the latter to make decisions.

Leadership styles can also be chosen depending on the situation and the characteristics of followers. Giltinane (2013) defines it as situational leadership, the approach that is often preferred by nurse leaders supervising new followers. The approach possesses a range of advantages such as flexibility and universality, which makes it extremely popular among leaders in nursing. However, the way that situational leaders sort out priorities is believed to be a major disadvantage of the approach.

For instance, some researchers believe that it pays little attention to relationships between group members, whereas the role of leaders is overestimated (Giltinane, 2013). Despite these perceived disadvantages, situational leadership is often regarded as an important motivator that encourages leaders to recognize the complexity of many work-related situations.

In the article being analyzed, the applicability of the above concepts to nursing practice is demonstrated. In spite of that, Giltinane (2013) concludes that due to a lack of evidence allowing to compare the effectiveness of these theories, it is difficult to provide nurse leaders with specific recommendations concerning the choice of leadership styles. As a nursing specialist, the researcher supports the use of situational leadership due to the degree of flexibility that it provides.

Impact of Giltinane Article Content on Future Practice

The assigned article can be extremely helpful for nursing students and nurses who want to learn more about the peculiarities of group relations in the context of taking care of people with health issues. To me, the content of the mentioned work can be regarded as a good and detailed guide for people who do not have profound knowledge in the field of leadership. I suppose that these new facts about different approaches to leadership and their distinctive traits will make me a more responsible follower and help me act as a leader in certain situations.

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The content of the discussed article is focused on the ways to recognize various leadership styles, and it will be helpful in my nursing practice. For instance, prior to reading this work, I regarded autocratic leadership as a style of leading others that negatively impacts followers since their specific needs are not always taken into account. However, real-life examples presented in the work clearly demonstrate that the outcomes of being autocratic heavily depend on leaders’ professional expertise, level of emotional intelligence, personality traits, and other factors.

Another important finding that has a potential to impact my relationships with colleagues and leaders in the future refers to the use of situational leadership when training new employees. Knowing that changes in leaders’ approach to communication with new staff are often aimed at defining tasks that new employees can perform independently, I will become able to work properly in different situations.


Giltinane, C. L. (2013). Leadership styles and theories. Nursing Standard, 27(41), 35-39.

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