Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Denise J. Maguire, R.N., Ph.D., C.N.L.

Committee Member

Cecile A. Lengacher, R.N., Ph.D., F.A.A.N.

Committee Member

Kevin Kip, Ph.D., F.A.H.A.

Committee Member

Robyn B. Cheung, R.N., Ph.D.


emotional intelligence, nurses, patient satisfaction, unplanned hospital readmissions


Heart Failure readmissions (HFR) significantly contribute to all cause hospital readmissions rates. Current evidence on the effectiveness of interventions for reduction of HFR is inconclusive. Recent research suggests that nurses’ emotional intelligence (EI) may be associated with better patient outcomes.

The purpose of this study was to examine if nurses’ EI is significantly related to HFR and if that relationship is mediated through patient satisfaction with care. One hundred and thirty six Registered Nurses were recruited from 11 in-patient units at a large teaching hospital in the south eastern United States. Two surveys were mailed to eligible participants; the Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory 2.0 and a demographic survey. Patient satisfaction was measured with the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey. The unit of observation for the analysis of the current study was the individual nursing unit with monthly measures for 14 months. Nurses EI was assessed at a single point in time and served as the basis for the data collected.

Results of one-way ANOVA showed a non-significant small trend of higher total EI being associated with lower rates of HFR. The generalized estimating equation model was used to account for correlated observations and revealed a greater non-significant likelihood for higher total EI to translate to no HFR. Results of Pearson’s correlations found non-significant positive correlations between nurses total EI and the patient satisfaction items of rate hospital, nurses’ courtesy and respect, nurse listening, nurse explaining, and nurse communication. The linear mixed model to account for correlated observations showed small non-significant trends for total nurse EI and all patient satisfaction items. Results of one-way ANOVA showed no association between patient satisfaction and HFR. When accounting for correlated observations, increases in total nurse EI were not significantly associated with the predicted odds of no HFR. In conclusion, the examination of the aims in this study demonstrated results that were in the expected direction but not at the level expected. The findings of this study indicate that there is a need to further examine how nurses’ EI may influence patient outcomes.

Included in

Nursing Commons