University of Oulu

Laukka, E., Hammarén, M., Pölkki, T., & Kanste, O. (2023). Hospital nurse leaders' experiences with digital technologies: A qualitative descriptive study. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 79, 297–308.

Hospital nurse leaders’ experiences with digital technologies : a qualitative descriptive study

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Author: Laukka, Elina1; Hammarén, Mira1; Pölkki, Tarja1,2;
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Nursing Science and Health Management, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Medical Research Center, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-02-28


Aim: To describe hospital nurse leaders’ experiences with digital technologies.

Design: A qualitative descriptive study.

Methods: Semi-structured focus group interviews in one university-affiliated hospital in Finland. Data were collected from October to November 2021 and analysed using content analysis an e-leadership framework.

Results: A total of 20 frontline nurse leaders and middle-managers participated. Leaders had different kinds of experiences that concerned their traits, cognition, affect and behaviour with digital technologies. Leaders experienced that they needed to be open-minded towards digitalization, which sometimes eased their work by making it more efficient. Occasionally, they also got frustrated with digitalization, which caused them stress. Leading digital technologies required collaboration with several different stakeholders, and leaders were especially responsible for ensuring nurses’ digital competence. Also, leaders own digital capability was highlighted, although some leaders experienced that their digital capability was low.

Conclusion: The e-leadership framework is useful for describing the conduct of leadership roles in the context of digital services. Digitalization has transformed leadership, yet nurse leaders’ education and training do not seem to have been sufficiently modified to these rapid changes. In addition, more attention should be given to how nurse leaders can be distressed by digitalization.

Impact: This study provides insight into leadership in the context of digitalized specialized medical care based on nurse leaders’ direct statements. Furthermore, the results highlight nurse leaders’ educational needs concerning digitalization. Adequately educating nurse leaders to become e-leaders is crucial to successful digitalization in the nursing domain.

Patient or public contribution: The study focused on nurse leaders’ experiences.

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Series: Journal of advanced nursing
ISSN: 0309-2402
ISSN-E: 1365-2648
ISSN-L: 0309-2402
Volume: 79
Issue: 1
Pages: 297 - 308
DOI: 10.1111/jan.15481
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 316 Nursing
Copyright information: © 2022 The Authors. Journal of Advanced Nursing published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.