Background: Nursing leadership is a process that promotes the improvement of health and living conditions of the population.Aim: To analyze the leadership styles of the head nurse and the motivation of the nursing staff in a public institution in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires.Methods: This research had a quantitative approach. The study design was non-experimental, descriptive and cross-sectional. The sample consisted of 133 nurses, selected by non-probabilistic sampling.Results: The sample consisted of 133 units of analysis, of which 63.16%, the average age was 40.13 and personnel with a Bachelor's degree in Nursing predominated with 61.65%. Regarding the leadership styles of the head nurse, the autocratic and democratic styles prevailed, and to a lesser extent the participative and permissive styles. When analyzing the decision-making styles, autonomy prevails; however, freedom and responsibility were found with average scores. Communication styles (assertive, verbal, written) had similar scores in the positive order.Conclusions: Our study describes that the predominant style was autocratic in contrast to democratic, permissive and participative leadership styles. Given the importance of leadership in meeting current and future challenges, these results indicate the urgent need to empower decision-makers in developing better leadership styles, with the aim of promoting transformational leadership. Future research should focus on leadership development interventions.
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