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Ethical Leadership Outcomes in Nursing: a Qualitative Study

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Leadership is an essential role that may either have a direct or indirect effect to an organization through the employees’ morale, customers’ satisfaction, and reputation of the company. In addition to the leadership’s impact on the organization and its principles, leaders are often viewed as role models for the members. It is crucial that leaders are not only qualified and skilled for the job, but also ethical in their daily conduct. But what does it truly mean to be an ethical leader? The article described an ethical leader as someone who is honest, altruistic, disciplined, and makes right and harmonious decisions. Ethical leadership in nursing consist of character, conduct, and institutional practices (Ashktorab, T. , Atashzadeh-Shoorideh F, Barkhordari-Sharifabad M, 2017). In the article, the qualitative studies conducted on nursing implied that ethical leadership has a great impact on reduced turnover, increased competency and job satisfaction including respect to quality of care, organizational commitment, civil behavior, empowerment, and safety and risk management in nurses.

Furthermore, the consequences also showed a positive effect on patients and organizational efficacy (Huang, T. , Tsai, C. 2008). Thus, a leadership style that pays attention to ethical dimensions is needed to improve the outcomes of the nurses’, patients’, and the healthcare organization. One of the categories obtained in the data analysis was an all-inclusive satisfaction of all stakeholders which included the managers, personnel, and patients. Through abiding by the ethical values and principles, the nursing leader can reach inner satisfaction and happiness as well as to satisfaction of nurses and patients (Ashktorab, T. , Atashzadeh-Shoorideh F, Barkhordari-Sharifabad M, 2017). On the other hand, productivity is another extracted category from the data. Nurse leaders with strong ethical commitment serve as role models to motivate their colleagues to provide quality care to the patients (Ashktorab, T. , Atashzadeh-Shoorideh F, Barkhordari-Sharifabad M, 2017). Nurses may learn their ways and adapt to the ethical climate of their leader demonstrates an ethical and honest behavior.

On the contrary, unethical behavior of the nurse leaders may lead to nurses refusing to responsibly fulfill their task which in return, might cause harm or dissatisfaction of the care provided to the patients (in text). The takeaway from the article is that when leaders establish a good foundation of commitment to ethical behavior, then the other employees will also adhere to a high standard of work conduct which then results to patient satisfaction and good reputation of the company. For example, a nurse manager on a medical-surgical floor who demonstrates the expected level of responsibility in preparation, implementation, documentation, and promotion of continuity in the care of clients is more likely to have peers who follow his/her standards of work ethic.

Furthermore, nurse leaders who are honest and respectful are likely to gain more followers as well as mutual respect and trust from their personnel. Not only are the patients satisfied with the quality of care provided to them, but the other nurses are also more likely to enjoy working in an ethical environment. The results of the study may help the nurse managers recognize the outcomes of their ethical behavior in the workplace environment.

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Ethical Leadership Outcomes in Nursing: a Qualitative Study. (2020, January 15). GradesFixer. Retrieved September 26, 2021, from
“Ethical Leadership Outcomes in Nursing: a Qualitative Study.” GradesFixer, 15 Jan. 2020,
Ethical Leadership Outcomes in Nursing: a Qualitative Study. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 26 Sept. 2021].
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