Departments & Programs,Programs and Initiatives,Magnet Recognition Program,Magnet Model

Transformational Leadership

Transformational Leadership - Departments & Programs, Programs and Initiatives, Magnet Recognition Program, Magnet Model


Transformational Leadership UWHC Example

Transformational leadership is experienced at all levels of the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics (UWHC) Nursing Service. UWHC nurses have developed a strong vision for nursing as evidenced in the professional practice model. As essential professional partners, the Nursing Service ensures congruence with the organizational mission, vision, values, and strategic and quality plans. The Senior Vice President Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer (SVP/CNO) is the executive leader and is strategically positioned to advocate for nursing and influence decision-making at all levels of the organization. The entire leadership team is visible, accessible, and committed to providing open communication with all nurses. There is strong commitment to collaborative decision making and this commitment is supported by a strong council structure that expects staff nurse input.

Transformational Leadership Overview

Today's health care environment is experiencing unprecedented, intense reformation. Unlike yesterday's leadership requirement for stabilization and growth, today's leaders must transform their organization's values, beliefs, and behaviors. It is relatively easy to lead people where they want to go; the transformational leader must lead people where they need to meet the demands of the future.

This requires vision, influence, clinical knowledge, and a strong expertise relating to professional nursing practice. It also acknowledges that transformation may create turbulence and involve atypical approaches to solutions.

The organization's senior leadership team creates the vision for the future, and the systems and environment necessary to achieve that vision. They must enlighten the organization as to why change is necessary, and communicate each department's part in achieving that change. They must listen, challenge, influence, and affirm as the organization makes its way into the future.

Gradually, this transformational way of thinking should take root in the organization and become even stronger as other leaders adapt to this way of thinking.

The intent of this Model Component is no longer just to solve problems, fix broken systems, and empower staff, but to actually transform the organizations to meet the future. Magnet-recognized organizations today strive for stabilization. However, health care reformation calls for a type of controlled destabilization that births new ideas and innovations.

Transformational Leadership Sources of Evidence 

Strategic Planning

TL1EO: Nursing’s mission, vision, values, and strategic plan align with the organization’s priorities to improve the organization’s performance. 


TL2: Nurse leaders and clinical nurses advocate for resources to support nursing unit and organizational goals.


Advocacy and Influence 

TL3EO: The CNO influences organization-wide change beyond the scope of nursing.

TL4: The CNO is a strategic partner in the organizations’ decision-making.


TL5: Nurse leaders lead effectively through change.


TL6: The CNO advocates for organizational support of ongoing leadership development for all nurses, with a focus on mentoring and succession planning.




TL7: Nurse leaders, with clinical nurse input, use trended data to acquire necessary resources to support the care delivery system(s).

Visibility, Accessiblity and Communication 

TL8: The CNO uses various methods to communicate, be visible, and be accessible to nurses throughout the organization. Choose two of the three below: 



TL9EO: Nurse leaders (exclusive of the CNO) use input from clinical nurses to influence change in the organization. Choose two of the three below (examples must be different from those provided in TL8):



Content reflects Magnet Application Addendums through June 2014.