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Dying With Dignity In America: The Transformational Leadership of Florence Wald


Dying with dignity involves the good care that those who have come to end of life need to be taken care of. This research it goal is to focus on the transformational leadership in the United States for its nurses to take serious measures to improve on the care of the dying. This exercise was started off by Florence Wald who played a very important role on the factors of transformational leadership (Buck, 2005). This idea of transformational leadership amongst the nurses rose during the World War II which relates on how the dying patients were treated poorly. Florence Wald organised a group of community members together the health members to create the first hospice in America in the year 1971 at Connecticut that would be used to care the dying by moderating their pain slowly that will be easy for them to bear.

Problem and Purpose Statements

This study involved the very deep exploration of Florence Wald’s exploration and the techniques that she used to come up with the group of members that involved in the creation of the first hospice in America through seven serious in depth- interviews. Also documents from the archives of Yale University library were used in the research. It was found that Florence Wald her focus on transformational leadership was mainly on respect on somebody is life and social justice for all (Buck, 2005). This research took her more than two years to ensure that a descriptive evidence existed on it. She acknowledges that nursing leaders who mainly focuses direct insights through sharing of values will have more success will have success in reaching very convenient results on transformational outcomes. Further she says that nursing leaders who work together as groups will steer up very important change in developing value driven cultures that will help to investigate decisions that will align with the evidence and help to obtain very supportive results (Buck, 2005).

Conceptual Model and Literature Review

Need for transformational leaders in nursing is a motivational study by Florence Wald. It is believed that nursing leaders face a lot of difficulties in the world health care. Most challenges they face is being innovative less and are not creative to cater for high demands that are emerging (Buck, 2005). The study shows that as improved technology increases in the health cares, the challenges of incorporating psychological, spiritual and sociological aspects in nursing health cares has become a problem. Retaining and hiring nurses who can guide a very promising vision and help in achieving the goals is very scaring. This is because leadership skills are not taught in the nursing programmes. The research also further indicates that most highly professional nurses are unwilling to take responsibilities as leaders in the health care.

Through designing of safe systems in health organisations this experts created a very high empowerment of nursing leadership. The study further articulates that leadership and very clear planning is very significant to the productive development and strategic plan for the future.

Through a case study over the last fifty years in America a transformational leadership skills comes to existence. This rose as a result of challenges on how the dying ill were treated. The start of hospice care in the United States was to help to find a solution on how patients were treated. Nurses followed the orders of the doctors very closely. All patients were not allowed to associate with their families and they were always hospitalized (Buck, 2005).

Florence Wald listened a lot of mentors and educators about leadership in nursing in order to reduce the pain of the dying through proper care. In 1971 with the assistance of many members she started off her first hospice care in New Haven. This hospice care was to help to govern the sociological, psychological and spiritual needs of patient families. The study indicates that the philosophy of hospice care spread on America and many programs were opened across America. Florence Wald’s leadership skills was very crucial in changing the way the health care handled the dying over a duration of time that was limited.

Research Methodology

The researcher used a very intensive descriptive design approach in order to create a very deep understanding of transformational leadership. A narrative inquiry was used in this study in order to give a clear understanding on the quality of experience. The study also interviewed seven individuals to collect a clear narrative of this important dynamic change on health care and write the story to help people get the logic of it. This tales comprised of the psychological, physiological and historical situations in which the events took place (Buck, 2005).

This case study used detailed interviews by Florence Wald and hospice starters to obtain clear insights and illustrations in change of leadership and creating an important change in the hospice care (Buck, 2005). The research also take a look at three groups of documents found in Yale University library by Florence and Henry Wald archives. All the interviews between Wald and community members were also reviewed to aid in the research. Triangulation was the main strategic plan used to ensure that the information obtained was not biased in any manner. Also there was a clear check -up among the members to ensure the findings that were obtained were accurate (Buck, 2005).

The research employed a sophisticated system to obtain enough analysis and organise it into a chronological order as obtained. This approach enabled the researcher to display a clear evidence to organise her data properly in order to obtain a clear and detailed analysis. Data collection and analysis was conducted simultaneously to give very clear insights for the narrative process. Finally, a case study database gave a clear information on the study and how the data was arranged (Buck, 2005).


All of the seven people who were selected to assist in obtaining a clear for this research agreed that hospice care was steered up by Florence Wald. The interviews also showed that a group work motivation and having a lot of care towards the dying allowed Wald to carry out the research for more than two years. The study showed that Florence Wald was highly talented and very vigilant in monitoring the events that took around the world and did that was required in the improvement of United States. From the documents that were archived showed that Florence Wald had organised many forums and seminars for transformational leadership in health cares. (Buck, 2005)

Enough evidence exists from the interviews that Florence Wald gave first priority to outreaches to raise a highly motivated team to initiate important change (Buck, 2005). She had a clear understanding of the importance of building social capital and participation of large community in transformation change. Finally, the data showed that Wald created an agreement on vision on meaningful change by working together with the founders and her work mates by asking them complicated questions to help in setting high standards of the care.

Discussions / Conclusions

In conclusion Florence Wald’s leadership was collaborative and consistent in that she actively brought the group together to discuss and share values to find collective purpose larger than any member‘s vision. Wald believed that dying patients needed great care and be fully supported in the end stage of care. Florence Ward also was highly committed to the value of involving the patients and families in the palliative care decisions (Buck, 2005).

The people who were involved in the interview for the research reported that Wald openly and always said the shared ideas and took steps that showed her motivation to connect their collective voice with evidence from research results to come up with new ways. Finally, Wald always asked hard questions to her colleagues and founders helped to improve the required levels of health care for the dying population patients.


Buck, J. (2005). Rights of passage: Reforming care of the dying 1965–1986. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Univer-sity of Virginia, Charlottesville.



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