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Positive spiritual climate supports transformational leadership as means to reduce nursing burnout and intent to leave

Wu, Xiaxin; Hayter, Mark; Lee, Amanda J.; Yuan, Yuan; Li, Shuang; Bi, Yaxin; Zhang, Lu; Cao, Chaoyu; Gong, Weijuan; Zhang, Yu


Xiaxin Wu

Mark Hayter

Amanda J. Lee

Yuan Yuan

Shuang Li

Yaxin Bi

Lu Zhang

Chaoyu Cao

Weijuan Gong

Yu Zhang


To explore the relationship between spiritual climate and transformational leadership, and examine their impact on nurses perceived emotional exhaustion and intentions to quit.

Transformational leadership is known to have a significant positive effect on work environment and job satisfaction. Additionally, promoting spiritual climate amongst staff can benefit workers by increasing self‐worth. The relationship between the two is unknown.

Nurse clinicians from 2 sites in the Jiangsu Province of China completed self‐report questionnaires based on spiritual climate, emotional exhaustion, clinical leadership and Turnover Intention Scales. Mediation analysis was applied to evaluate impact of spiritual climate.

Perceived positive spirituality amongst nurse clinicians reinforces transformational leadership to reduce emotional exhaustion (indirect effect of −0.089, p < .01). Burnout and intention to leave showed significantly positive correlation with lower levels of perceived spirituality (r = .545, p < .01).

Transformational leadership in the workplace can reduce nurses' burnout, and a positive spiritual climate increases meaningfulness in their work. This may help in nurse retention.

Implications for Nursing Management
Health care leaders must look beyond transformational leadership to maintain a positive and supportive clinical climate, and this may involve acknowledgement of nurses' spiritual needs.


Wu, X., Hayter, M., Lee, A. J., Yuan, Y., Li, S., Bi, Y., Zhang, L., Cao, C., Gong, W., & Zhang, Y. (2020). Positive spiritual climate supports transformational leadership as means to reduce nursing burnout and intent to leave. Journal of nursing management, 28(4), 804-813.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 1, 2020
Online Publication Date Mar 25, 2020
Publication Date 2020-05
Deposit Date Jul 27, 2020
Publicly Available Date Mar 26, 2021
Journal Journal of Nursing Management
Print ISSN 0966-0429
Electronic ISSN 1365-2834
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 28
Issue 4
Pages 804-813
Keywords Burnout; Nurse; Transformational leadership; Spiritual climate; Turnover intention
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Published: 2020-03-07


Accepted manuscript (969 Kb)

Copyright Statement
© John Wiley & Sons 2020

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