Identifying emotional intelligence in professional nursing practice.J Prof Nurs. 2007 Jan-Feb; 23(1):30-6.JP
The National Center for Health Workforce Analysis projects that the shortage of registered nurses in the United States will double by 2010 and will nearly quadruple to 20% by 2015 (Bureau of Health Professionals Health Resources and Services Administration. . Projected supply, demand, and shortages of registered nurses, 2000-2020 [On-line]. Available: http:bhpr.hrsa.gov/healthworkforce/reports/rnprojects/report.htm). The purpose of this study was to use the conceptual framework of emotional intelligence to analyze nurses' stories about their practice to identify factors that could be related to improved nurse retention and patient/client outcomes. The stories reflected evidence of the competencies and domains of emotional intelligence and were related to nurse retention and improved outcomes. Nurses recognized their own strengths and limitations, displayed empathy and recognized client needs, nurtured relationships, used personal influence, and acted as change agents. Nurses were frustrated when organizational barriers conflicted with their knowledge/intuition about nursing practice, their communications were disregarded, or their attempts to create a shared vision and teamwork were ignored. Elements of professional nursing practice, such as autonomy, nurse satisfaction, respect, and the professional practice environment, were identified in the excerpts of the stories. The shortage of practicing nurses continues to be a national issue. The use of emotional intelligence concepts may provide fresh insights into ways to keep nurses engaged in practice and to improve nurse retention and patient/client outcomes.