This study tested a multilevel model examining the effects of work-unit structural empowerment and social capital on perceptions of unit effectiveness and nurses’ ratings of patient care quality.
Structural empowerment and social capital are valuable resources for staff nurses that promote work effectiveness and high-quality patient care. No studies have examined social capital in nursing at the group level.
A cross-sectional survey of 525 nurses in 49 nursing units in 25 acute care hospitals in Ontario was conducted to test the hypothesized multilevel model using structural equation modeling.
Both unit-level structural empowerment and social capital had significant effects on unit effectiveness (β = .05 and β = .29, P < .05, respectively). Unit-level predictors explained 87.5% of level 2 variance in individual nurses’ ratings of patient care quality.
This study provides a better understanding of how unit-level structural empowerment and social capital affect both unit- and individual-level outcomes.
Author Affiliations: Distinguished University Professor and Arthur Labatt Family Nursing Research Chair in Health Human Resources Optimization (Dr Spence Laschinger); Doctoral Student (Ms Read), Arthur and Sonia Labatt Family School of Nursing; Assistant Professor, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Department of Paediatrics and Epidemiology & Biostatistics (Dr Wilk); and Associate Professor and Associate Dean Faculty of Social Science, Department of Psychology (Dr Finegan), University of Western Ontario, London, Canada.
This study was funded by a research grant from the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
Correspondence: Dr Spence Laschinger, University of Western Ontario, Health Sciences Addition Room H41, 1151 Richmond St, London, ON, Canada N6A 5C1 (firstname.lastname@example.org).