An Integrative Review of Transformational Leadership Style and Burnout: Implications for Nurse Leaders

  • Latifah Alenezi
  • Gordon Lee Gillespie
  • Carolyn Smith
Keywords: Transformational Leadership, Burnout, Nurse Leaders, Nursing


INTRODUCTION: Transformational leadership improves the motivation and performance of others through different ways. Nurse leaders can use prior evidence to reimagine how transformational leadership can be applied in nursing while considering the uniqueness of nursing context vs other contexts. Nurse leaders additionally need to pay attention to the negative downside of transformational leadership on leaders themselves because it may have significant consequences on nurse leader burnout. PURPOSE: To review the evidence and determine how transformational leadership characteristics are associated with burnout among nurse leaders. MATERIALS AND METHOD: An integrative review of transformational leadership in nursing and nurse leader’s burnout was conducted using Whittemore and Knafl’s (2005) methodology. PubMed and Google Scholar were used in the literature search. Multiple combinations of the keywords and phrases “transformation leadership,” “nursing leadership,” “transformational leadership and burnout,” or “burnout among nurse leaders” were used for the literature search. To capture all articles relevant to this review, the inclusion criteria were set to peer reviewed and English articles published between 2002 and 2020 that reported on transformational leadership and nurse leader’s burnout. RESULTS: Taking into consideration the main findings, their common meanings were organized and integrated as themes including transformational leadership in nursing, burnout of nurse leaders, and burnout of transformational leaders. CONCLUSION: This integrative review explored how transformational leadership might be associated with burnout amongst nurse leaders. Overall, transformational leadership style was established as an effective leadership style at the organizational and employee levels in terms of, for example, job satisfaction. Literature showed that transformational leadership style has an association with burnout among leaders from contexts other than nursing. For nurse leaders, how this leadership style has an association with burnout needs to be investigated.


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Author Biographies

Latifah Alenezi

h.D Student, University of Cincinnati College of Nursing, 3110 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45221

Gordon Lee Gillespie

Ph.D, Professor & Interim Dean; Director Occupational Health Nursing Program, University of Cincinnati

Carolyn Smith

Associate Professor, Academic - University of Cincinnati College of Nursing


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DOI: 10.26440/IHRJ/0607.10576
Published: 2023-01-04
How to Cite
Latifah Alenezi, Gordon Lee Gillespie, Smith C. An Integrative Review of Transformational Leadership Style and Burnout: Implications for Nurse Leaders. IHRJ [Internet]. 2023Jan.4 [cited 2024Jun.19];6(9):RV8-RV24. Available from: