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Structural Empowerment of Clinical Nurse Managers

Oliver, Beth DNP, RN; Gallo, Kathleen PhD, RN; Griffin, Mary Quinn PhD, RN; White, Maureen MBA, RN; Fitzpatrick, Joyce PhD, RN

JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration: April 2014 - Volume 44 - Issue 4 - p 226–231
doi: 10.1097/NNA.0000000000000059

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to describe perceptions of structural empowerment of clinical nurse managers (CNMs) in 1 large healthcare system.

BACKGROUND: The recruitment and retention of CNMs are crucial to the future of healthcare institutions. Understanding the extent to which CNMs feel supported in the work environment and have access to resources, information, support, and opportunities to learn and develop will be beneficial to organizational effectiveness.

METHODS: The sample included 140 CNMs from 1 large healthcare system in the northeastern United States.

RESULTS: Consistent with previous research, CNMs in the present study had moderate levels of empowerment. They had lower than expected subscale scores on the resources subscale and acceptable scores on the subscales of support, formal power, and informal power.

CONCLUSIONS: In the current changing healthcare environment, it is important to gain more understanding of the role of CNMs who are crucial to quality care and patient and nurse satisfaction. This study provides important baseline information about perceptions of structural empowerment among CNMs. Interventions that can be initiated to enhance the CNM empowerment are presented.

Author Affiliations: Vice President, Clinical Operations (Dr Oliver), Mount Sinai Heart Hospital, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York; Chief Learning Officer and Sr. Vice President (Dr Gallo), North Shore-L.I.J. Health System, Lake Success, New York; Associate Professor (Dr Quinn Griffin), Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio; Professor (Dr Fitzpatrick), Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing; and Chief Nurse Executive (Ms White), North Shore- L.I.J. Health System, New Hyde Park, New York.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Dr Oliver, Mount Sinai Medical Center, One Gustave Levy Place, New York, NY 10029 (

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins