Leadership and emotional intelligence in nursing and midwifery education and practice: a discussion paper

Jean Carragher, Kevin Gormley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


A discussion of the concepts of leadership and emotional intelligence in nursing and midwifery education and practice.

The need for emotionally intelligent leadership in the health professions is acknowledged internationally throughout the nursing and midwifery literature. The concepts of emotional intelligence and emotional-social intelligence have emerged as important factors for effective leadership in the healthcare professions and require further exploration and discussion. This paper will explore these concepts and discuss their importance in the healthcare setting with reference to current practices in the UK, Ireland and internationally.

Discussion paper.

Data sources
A search of published evidence from 1990–2015 using key words (as outlined below) was undertaken from which relevant sources were selected to build an informed discussion.

Implications for nursing/midwifery
Fostering emotionally intelligent leadership in nursing and midwifery supports the provision of high quality and compassionate care. Globally, leadership has important implications for all stakeholders in the healthcare professions with responsibility for maintaining high standards of care. This includes all grades of nurses and midwives, students entering the professions, managerial staff, academics and policy makers.

This paper discusses the conceptual models of leadership and emotional intelligence and demonstrates an important link between the two. Further robust studies are required for ongoing evaluation of the different models of emotional intelligence and their link with effective leadership behaviour in the healthcare field internationally. This is of particular significance for professional undergraduate education to promote ongoing compassionate, safe and high quality standards of care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-96
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number1
Early online date22 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017


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