BACKGROUND: Leadership styles of a nurse manager have a profound influence on staff nurses' motivation to engage in formal nursing leadership roles; however, the mechanism underlying this pattern of influence remains unknown.
AIM: To assess the direct and indirect effect of nurse managers' authentic leadership on staff nurses' motivation to engage in formal leadership roles, through the intermediary role of nurse work environment and leadership self-efficacy.
METHODS: This cross-sectional study involved 1534 nurses from 24 acute care hospitals in the Sultanate of Oman.
FINDINGS: Nurse managers' authentic leadership was associated with staff nurses' motivation to engage in formal leadership roles. Nurse practice environment and leadership self-efficacy mediated partially the association between authentic leadership and motivation to engage in formal leadership roles.
CONCLUSION: Results of this study underscore the value of authentic leadership in creating a healthy work environment and fostering nurses' leadership self-efficacy, resulting in greater motivation to engage in nursing leadership roles.
IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING MANAGEMENT: Organizational strategies to attract nurses to undertake leadership roles should include measures to bolster authentic leadership behaviours in nurse managers through theory-driven leadership development programmes or interventions, continuing education, effective succession planning, and creating a supportive work environment.