Self-Leadership Practices of Nurse Educators at South African Nursing Education Institutions

Vhothusa Edward Matahela1, *, Gisela Hildegard Van Rensburg1
1 Department of Health Studies, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa

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Creative Commons License
© 2021 Matahela and Van Rensburg

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Health Studies, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa; Tel: +27825314111; E-mail:



Self-leadership has emerged as a leadership style that could be used to achieve successful performance for individuals and organisations, including higher education institutions. It is, however, not known how nurse educators perceive their self-leadership practices.


To describe the self-leadership practices of nurse educators at nursing education institutions.


This article reports the quantitative phase of a broader exploratory, descriptive, sequential mixed-method design study conducted with conveniently selected nurse educators (n=265) in two provinces in South Africa. Data were collected using a self-administered questionnaire.


Constructs found to be valid for self-leadership practices were autonomy-supportive environment, continuing professional development, role modelling, and shared leadership. Respondents perceived themselves to be engaged in self-leadership practices. The Cronbach alpha coefficient indicated the internal consistency of the constructs.


Educational institutions should create environments that support autonomy and role modelling to facilitate the engagement of nurse educators in self-leadership practices.

Keywords: Nurse educators, Nursing education institution, Autonomy-supportive environment, Self-leadership, Manz’s theoretical framework, Cronbach’s alpha coefficient.