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Empowerment as a Process of Evolving Consciousness: A Model of Empowered Caring

Falk-Rafael, Adeline R. RN, PhD

Nursing Models of Care

This qualitative exploratory study used nominal group technique in a series of focus groups with public health nurses to identify their conceptualization of empowerment, the strategies they identified as empowering, and the outcomes of empowering strategies they observed in their practice. A model emerged from these data that conceptualized empowerment as a process of evolving consciousness in which increasing awareness, knowledge, and skills interacted with the clients' active participation to move toward actualizing potential. Clients, who nurses identified as having been empowered through their practice, were interviewed, and their narratives were examined for congruence with the model. The model that emerged from this study is solidly grounded in nursing practice, consistent with global approaches to public health and contemporary nursing theories, and supported by the perceptions of clients receiving nursing care.

Associate Professor, Nursing; York University; Toronto, Ontario

Funding for this study was provided by the University of Western Ontario, Faculty of Health Sciences. I gratefully acknowledge the contributions of Rebecca Bonguli and Joyce Fontana, doctoral students who stimulated my thinking about this model as one of empowered caring.

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