Nursing research has focused on the relationship among Emotional Intelligence and  Leadership, Conflict Management and Staff Satisfaction, but little is known about the EQ profile of the successful staff nurse.

This exploratory, descriptive study by Mary G. Harper and Jan Jones-Schenk National College of Health, Western Governor´s University, Salt Lake City, Utah reports the EQ profiles of successful staff nurses in acute care clinincal settings to provide an understanding of which EQ skills are important for success in nursing practice.

The study examined 42 nurses using the Bar-On EQi.

Mean scores for total EQ, composite scales and subscales were all in the average range indicating an ability to successfully navigate relationships in work and life for these nurses.  19% scored below average and 31% scored above average on Total EQ.

Areas of strengths were:

  • Stress Tolerance
  • Self Regard
  • Self Actualization.
  • Problem Solving
  • Social Responsibility


EQ graph nurses

The study found that successful staff nurses have higher average of  Total EQ and the study also found that empathy among these nurses declines with age.

Maybe a surviving factor, if one is to remain successful as a staff nurse, is that nurses learn to keep a certain distance over time and thus may come across as less empathic.

The results will be used for selection of students to nursing schools and provide a knowledge base for ongoing professional development of nurses in practice.

Kandidata Asia hopes to be part of a similar study on multicultural success factors for nurses which is in the planning stage.