Date of Paper/Work


Type of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Sharon Radd

Second Advisor

Jeanne Bailey

Third Advisor

Roberta Wagner


Organizational Leadership


Burnout and turnover are problems affecting staff nurses and nurse leaders across the country. Nurses and nurse leaders, who leave their jobs, contribute to an emerging nursing shortage caused by many baby boomer nurses retiring and an aging population (Snavely, 2016). Nursing leaders play key roles in creating positive work environments which help reduce burnout and turnover in staff nurses (Brown, Fraser, Wong, Muise, Cummings, 2013). Nurse leaders, who are ineffective due to burnout, or decide to leave their roles, affect staff nurses negatively and are a detriment to patient care (Brown et al., 2013). Sabbaticals are a proven strategy in many professions to renew, refresh and revitalize, but are rarely used in nursing (Schaar, Swenty, Phillips, Embree, McCool, & Shirey, 2012). This study explores the perceptions of nurse leaders on the value of sabbaticals as a strategy to revitalize and retain nurse leaders. Qualitative data was collected from three focus groups of nurse leaders at a large metropolitan hospital. Analysis of the responses informed questions for a survey on sabbaticals that was distributed to members of a professional nurse leader organization. The Conservation of Resources (COR) Theory (Hofboll, 2001) and the Quality Caring Model (QCM) (Duffy, 2018) were the theoretical frameworks used to interpret the data. This study found, through focus groups and survey that while nurse leaders see the benefits and would like to participate in a sabbatical program, they also shared anxieties about leaving their crucial role, and questioned if the organization valued or cared enough about them to offer such a program.