JOURNAL ARTICLE

Workplace empowerment and magnet hospital characteristics: making the link

Heather K Spence Laschinger, Joan Almost, Donnalene Tuer-Hodes
Journal of Nursing Administration 2003, 33 (7): 410-22
12909793

OBJECTIVE: To test a theoretical model linking nurses' perceptions of workplace empowerment, magnet hospital characteristics, and job satisfaction in 3 independent studies of nurses in different work settings.

BACKGROUND: Strategies proposed in Kanter's structural empowerment theory have the potential to result in work environments that are described in terms of magnet hospital characteristics. Identifying factors that contribute to work conditions that attract and retain highly qualified committed nurses, such as those found in magnet hospitals, that can be put in place by nursing administrators is extremely important for work redesign to promote professional nursing practice.

METHODS: Secondary analyses of data from 3 studies were conducted--2 of staff nurses and 1 with acute care nurse practitioners working in Ontario, Canada. The Conditions of Work Effectiveness Questionnaire-II, the NWI-R, and measures of job satisfaction were used to measure the major study variables.RESULTS The results of all 3 studies support the hypothesized relationships between structural empowerment and the magnet hospital characteristics of autonomy, control over practice environment, and positive nurse-physician relationships. The combination of access to empowering work conditions and magnet hospital characteristics was significantly predictive of nurses' satisfaction with their jobs.

CONCLUSIONS/IMPLICATIONS: These findings suggest that nursing leaders' efforts to create empowering work environments can influence nurses' ability to practice in a professional manner, ensuring excellent patient care quality and positive organizational outcomes.

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