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Nurse Educator Perceptions of Structural Empowerment and Innovative Behavior

HEBENSTREIT, JULIA J.

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Aim. Using Kanter's theory of structural power, this study explored whether the degree of structural empowerment as perceived by nurse educators influences the degree of their innovative behavior.

Background. Faculty are challenged to reform nursing education via innovation and a departure from traditional pedagogies. Little research on innovative behavior of nurse educators exists in the literature.

Method. Nurse educators randomly selected from 150 accredited baccalaureate nursing programs were invited to complete an online survey.

Results. The nurse educators perceived themselves as moderately empowered. Significant and positive correlations between structural empowerment and innovative behavior were found. Significant differences in the degree of perceived innovative behavior were associated with age, academic rank, employment status, and tenure status. Nurse educators employed in private institutions perceived greater structural empowerment than those employed in public institutions.

Conclusion. The findings support Kanter's belief that workplace environment structures can positively influence workers' behavior and attitudes.

Copyright 2012 by National League for Nursing, Inc.
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