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Abstract Background: Nurse retention is among the strategies nurse leaders utilise to prevent high rates of nurse turnover in hospitals. Nurse turnover is relatively high and significantly contributes to a shortage of experienced nurses in the healthcare sector. leadership styles are directly correlated to nurse retention because good and effective leadership styles provide a good and favourable atmosphere to nursing staff where they become satisfied with the profession and work and thus are comfortable in staying within an organisation. Positive work atmosphere has been shown to lead to increased nurse retention, and hence stabilising the workforce. However, much is unknown regarding the specific leadership styles that influence nurse retention. Aim: The aim of this systematic review is to investigate and identify the impact of various leadership styles on nursing staff retention. Methods: Secondary data analysis and literature search of the most recent nursing literature published from 2014 to 2019 was conducted in order to identify relevant research studies from various electronic databases such as CINAHL, PubMed, Cochrane Library, ERIC, and EMBASE. This was in order to ensure effective identification of quality research studies. The unlimited search generated a total of 13,755 research articles. After screening and critically appraising the retrieved studies, only six studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria, and thus were selected for the study. Results: Suitable leadership styles directly impact nursing staff retention, by creating healthy work settings, improving the job satisfaction and commitment of the nursing staff, and also by improving patient satisfaction. Nurse leaders displayed transformational leadership style were characterised by intellectual stimulation and VII idealised influence, as well as motivation, which increased nurse retention. The transformational leadership style was linked to the intrinsic and extrinsic job satisfaction and high retention rate, while transactional leadership style depicted a negative relationship between the leadership style and job satisfaction and retention rate. Conclusion: Leadership styles impact level of satisfaction and motivation among the staff, and this impacts the retention rate. The transformational leadership style is allied to high retention of the nursing staff. However, even though findings indicate that the transformational leadership style can improve nursing staff retention, transformational leadership can be combined with other effective styles such as spiritual leadership style to yield better outcomes. Key words: Leadership styles, transactional, transformational leadership, spiritual leadership, nursing staff, job commitment, job satisfaction, job retention, hospital and healthcare organisation.