Nurse Managers: Leadership and Medication Safety

The relationship between nurse manager’s transformational leadership style and medication safety.

A study conducted by the Department of Nursing Science, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland.


To describe medication safety, transformational leadership and their relationship as evaluated by Registered Nurses.


Medication safety is one of the aspects of patient safety and an important part of nurses’ daily practices. Nurse managers can ensure medication safety by adopting a transformational leadership style. However, little evidence exists regarding how transformational leadership relates to medication safety.


Data were collected from Registered Nurses (n = 161) in three Finnish hospitals in May 2016 using an electronic questionnaire incorporating the Transformational Leadership Scale (TLS) and Medication Safety Scale (MSS). Data were analysed using statistical analyses including descriptive analyses, principal component analysis and multivariate analyses. STROBE reporting guidelines were followed (see Appendix S1).


Nurses evaluated medication safety and transformational leadership in their units to be excellent and good, respectively. There was a moderate but statistically significant correlation between transformational leadership and medication safety. The medication competence of nurses and the management of nursing processes were significantly related to medication safety.


Nurse managers’ transformational leadership style can promote medication safety in units. The medication competence of nurses must be addressed because assurance and confidence in their own expertise in pharmacotherapeutic tasks positively affects their perceptions of medication safety.


medication safety; nurse manager; nursing leadership; registered nurse; transformational leadership


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