Document Type

DNP Project


School of Nursing

Date of Degree

Spring 2019


Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Primary Advisor

Cathie E. Guzzetta PhD, RN, FAAN; Mary Michael Brown DNP, RN; Qiuping Zhou PhD, RN


Background: Emotional intelligence (EI) and transformational leadership (TL) style are linked to leadership effectiveness. At our organization, there is a gap in knowledge around EI and TL in our nurse leaders.

Objective: To assess the relationship of EI and TL among nurse leaders, appraise participants ability to accurately define EI, assess their belief that education can increase the level of EI, and discover the learning method preference to increase their level of EI.

Methods: We used a descriptive-comparative survey design with a sample of nurse leaders working at a Northeast academic medical center. Participants included clinical nurse managers, nurse administrators, patient care directors, and directors of nursing. Data were collected using a demographic questionnaire, the Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire (TEIQue-SF), and the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire 5X (MLQ-5X). A Pearson correlation was calculated using the mean scores on the TEIQue-SF and MLQ-5X. Frequencies and percents were calculated for the ability to define EI, and beliefs and preferences related to EI education.

Results: Fifty-six of 127 (44%) nurse leaders responded. A significant, positive correlation (r = 0.523, p < .001) was found between the mean TEIQue-SF scores (M = 5.69, SD = 0.51) and MLQ-5X (M =3.25, SD = 0.35). Most participants were unable to accurately define EI (n =42, 75%), believed that education would increase EI (n = 45, 80.4%), and preferred classroom learning methods (n = 31, 55.4%).

Conclusion: The correlation between EI and TL in nurse leaders supports further education and training in EI to improve patient outcomes.

Open Access




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