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Nurses' Assessments Of Their Work Environment: Promoting Or Impeding Empowerment?

Kuokkanen, Liisa MNSc, RN; Katajisto, Jouko MMSc

Journal of Nursing Administration: April 2003 - Volume 33 - Issue 4 - p 209–215

Objective: This Article Reports The Results Of A Quantitative Study Of Individual Nurses'views Concerning Factors Promoting Or Impeding empowerment In Health-care Organizations.

Background: Changes In Healthcare Have Lead To The Formation Of Ever Larger Units, Reduced Resources, And An Increasing Demand For Efficiency. Besides Having Extensive Professional Knowledge, Personnel Are Expected To Be Independent Decision-makers Engaged In Continuous Development Of Both Themselves And Their Work.The Leadership Must Be Goal-directed, Providing Support And Opportunities To The Personnel. Concerns Exist As To How To Safeguard The Attractiveness Of The Healthcare Field In A Possible Future Competition For Potential Workers And Students.

Methods: The Concept Used As Theoretical Framework Is Empowerment, Which Has Widely Been Found Useful Not Only In Developing Patient Care But Also In Education And Personnel Management. Data (n = 416) Were Collected By A Questionnaire Based On Five Categories Obtained In An Earlier Qualitative Study. Results: Factors That Prevented Empowerment Included Authoritarian Leadership, Poor Access To Information, And Short Working Periods. Factors Found To Increase Empowerment Were Job Satisfaction, Career Consciousness, Further Training, And Commitment. Further Research Into The Effects Of Personnel Governance And Organizational Changes Upon Empowerment Seems Indicated.

Authors' Affiliations: Department Of Nursing (Ms Kuokkanen), Department Of Statistics (Ms Katajisto), University Of Turku,Turku, Finland; Helsinki Polytechnic, Institute Of Health Care And Social Services (Ms Kuokkanen), Helsinki, Finland.

Corresponding Author: Liisa Kuokkanen, MNSc, RN, Henkivartijantie, Helsinki Polytechnic, Institute Of Health Care & Social Services, Tukholmankatu 10, 00290 Helsinki, Finland (

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.