Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)




Cheryl McMahan


Ineffective leadership and disengaged nurses reduce the quality of care and patient satisfaction in healthcare organizations. Healthcare leaders can benefit from understanding the factors that improve leadership ability and nurse engagement to improve healthcare outcomes. The purpose of this correlational study was to examine the relationship between the demonstration of authentic leadership characteristics and nurse engagement. The study's population comprised acute care registered nurses in a rural hospital in central Washington State. Authentic leadership theory and engagement theory constituted the theoretical framework. Independent variables were the 4 constructs of authentic leadership theory, self-awareness, balanced information processing, relational transparency, and internalized moral perspective; the dependent variable was nurse engagement. Three hundred sixty-nine registered nurses received 2 pen and paper, Likert-type scale surveys, the Authentic Leadership Questionnaire, and Utrecht Worker Engagement Scale- 9 item, to complete for data collection. Data were analyzed using multiple linear regression. There was no relationship between the 4 constructs of authentic leadership and nurse engagement. The coefficient of determination demonstrated only 11% variation in nurse engagement related to the independent variables. Healthcare leaders face significant challenges. With a better understanding of the factors that lead to higher nurse engagement, leaders can increase both nurse and patient satisfaction, leading to better healthcare outcomes.