Development of an Instrument to Characterize Nurse Leader Communication Behavior


Name: Susan Hopkinson

Rank: LTC

Organization: The Geneva Foundation

Performance Site: Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany

Year Published: 2015

Abstract Status:


Communication behaviors of military nursing leaders within the hierarchic organization of military nursing departments can influence the psychological empowerment of staff nurses. The purpose of this study is to develop a survey instrument to identify and measure the empowering (positive) and toxic (negative) characteristics of military nurse leader communication behaviors.

Specific Aim: The specific aim of this study is to develop a survey instrument that measures characteristics of military nurse leader communication behaviors as perceived by staff nurses. The following research questions will be addressed: 1) What are the characteristics of nurse leader communication behaviors within the hierarchic structure of the military nursing work environment? and 2) Are nurse leader communication behaviors related to staff nurse psychological empowerment?

Design: The specific steps used for the survey instrument development will be to: 1) identify constructs, 2) generate items, 3) test content and face validity, 4) evaluate construct validity, and 5) evaluate criterion related validity. Setting/Sample: The setting will be Landstuhl Regional Medical Center and include nurse leaders and staff nurses who are responsible for providing inpatient care. This study will include the use of 4 focus groups (n < 32) and expert panel review to develop instrument items. The developed items along with the 12-item Psychological Empowerment Scale (PES) will be administered to a developmental sample (n < 210). Data Analysis: The items will then be analyzed for content validity and reliability as well as correlation with the PES.

The developed instrument is intended to be used to provide feedback to individual nursing leaders about identified areas of strengths or areas that need improvement. The intent is to develop a relevant survey instrument that then can be pilot tested in an appropriate size sample based on the number of items for the identified constructs in a follow-on study.