MBTI-centered Leadership Development Helps 16,000 Nurses Improve Patient Care

Posted 11 March 2024 by
Melissa Summer, The Myers-Briggs Company

7 min. read

In hierarchical workplace environments like those found in the healthcare industry, leadership and communication skills can often be overlooked as a determinant of patient care in favor of processes, resource allocation and efficiency of operational systems. 

Challenges in Nursing: Hierarchies, Heavy Workloads and Hurried Situations

Nurses and midwives face a multitude of challenges in their jobs, which vary de-pending on factors such as their specific role, the healthcare setting, and regional differences. Common challenges for nurses and midwives include: 

  1. Heavy Workloads: Nurses often deal with high patient-to-nurse ratios, leading to heavy workloads and time constraints. This can result in stress, fatigue, and compromised patient care.
  2. Staffing Shortages: Many healthcare facilities experience shortages of nursing staff, which can exacerbate workload issues and impact the quality of care. Shortages may be due to factors such as budget constraints, an aging nursing workforce, and increasing patient demand.
  3. Emotional and Psychological Demands: Nurses frequently encounter emotionally challenging situations, such as dealing with suffering patients, comforting grieving families, and witnessing traumatic events. This can lead to compassion fatigue, burnout, and mental health issues.
  4. Complex Patient Needs: Nurses must address the diverse and complex needs of patients, including managing chronic conditions, administering medications, and providing holistic care. This requires strong critical thinking, clinical judgment, and problem-solving skills.
  5. Communication Challenges: Effective communication is essential in nursing for collaborating with healthcare team members, conveying critical information, and educating patients. Nurses may face barriers to communication due to language barriers, cultural differences, or hierarchical structures within healthcare organizations.

In this new case study from The Myers Briggs Company, the Florence Nightingale Foundation empowered 16,512 frontline workers (nurses and midwives) with leadership development tools to recognize and address challenges within the healthcare system.

Read the full case study here

Building a scalable leadership development program for nurses

Since 1934, the Florence Nightingale Foundation has supported nurses and midwives to improve their effectiveness and gain the skills to be a voice of influence regardless of their position within the hierarchy. 

Last year, the foundation started leveraging MBTI® Complete in their leadership development program to train nurses and midwives in-person and re-motely.

MBTI Complete has been an essential component of our programs to enable us to offer online accessible leadership development at scale,” says Lucy Brown, Director of Nursing and Midwifery, Leadership Development, at the Florence Nightingale Foundation. 

“It helped us replicate what we were doing face-to-face because not everyone could get to in-person sessions.”

Building these leadership skills involved cultivating self-awareness, and the MBTI assessment provided a way to recognize how personality preferences influence interactions and increased emotional intelligence. Implementing the MBTI framework gave nurses and leaders the skills, courage, and mindset to develop their own leadership authority for the patient’s benefit. 

Here are some of the challenges that the Florence Nightingale Foundation faced which led them to look for an online, scalable leadership development solution:

Harnessing the power of personality with the MBTI assessment administered through MBTI Complete and focusing on developing leadership skills using self-awareness as a key differentiator, the Florence Nightingale Foundation was able to:

The Florence Nightingale Foundation Academy had forged partnerships with ex-ternal organizations to help develop the nurses and midwives attending their Leadership Programme. For example, it worked with RADA Business to develop personal presence and impact, and The King’s Fund for healthcare-focused ex-pertise and leadership.

But to start everything off, it used Myers-Briggs® personality type to focus on participants’ self-awareness. And it’s chosen MBTI Complete to enable the or-ganization to do this most effectively.

For an organization like the Florence Nightingale Foundation, which aims to reach one million nurses and midwives by 2027, scalable online delivery is crucial to its plans and ambitious vision.

“To give you some context,” says Lucy Brown, Director of Nursing and Midwifery Leadership Development, “we train nurses and midwives across the UK and globally. Last year we trained 16,512 nurses and midwives.”

“We love the MBTI products,” she adds, “MBTI Complete is an ideal tool for our online programs. It’s a standalone product that works really well, people can do it in their own time and we’ve been using it with large cohorts.”

With MBTI Complete, individuals take the assessment, learn their MBTI type, and get personalized feedback online as self-guided study. This means they’re prepared and MBTI-informed ahead of the instructor-led module of their train-ing program.

“We set up the leadership academy three years ago,” says Lucy, “because we recognized that we needed to develop leadership across the whole career span for nurses and midwives, not just the top senior nurses on scholarships. The first year we did around 10 programs, the next year around 30, and this year it’s around 60. MBTI Complete has been an essential component of our programs to enable us to offer online accessible leadership development. It helped us repli-cate what we were doing face-to-face and it allowed us to have more accessible training for all because not everyone can get to in-person sessions.”

Want to hear the full story? Read the Florence Nightingale case study here.

Learn more about MBTI Complete here

Looking for online, scalable team training using the MBTI assessment? Check out this page for more about MBTI for team development


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