Characteristics of nurses and hospital work environments that foster satisfaction and clinical expertise

Barbara Jo Foley, Carolyn C Kee, Ptlene Minick, Susan S Harvey, Bonnie M Jennings
Journal of Nursing Administration 2002, 32 (5): 273-82

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this aspect of a larger study was to describe characteristics of nurses and their work environment at two military hospitals.

BACKGROUND: Few studies have explored characteristics among nurses who practice in military hospitals. There is reason to believe that differences exist between nurses who work in military and civilian hospitals, some of which are required educational level, leadership experience, officer status, and career development opportunities.

METHODS: A descriptive design was used to address how military and civilian nurses who work in military hospitals describe their autonomy, control over practice, nurse-physician collaboration, and clinical expertise and what relationships exist among these variables.

RESULTS: Scores on autonomy, control over practice, and nurse-physician relationships all were above midpoint for all respondents as a group, indicating positive work environments in both of the military hospitals studied. Scores from the clinical expertise instrument were well above midpoint, indicating a desirable level of clinical expertise. These findings all reflect favorably on the military hospital work environment.

CONCLUSIONS/IMPLICATIONS: This information will help to make a case for instituting or preserving those nursing processes that are effective and for identifying and working to change nursing processes that are not effective. Nurses will benefit by having a more collaborative work environment.

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