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Unpublished Paper
The relationship of nursing work environment to empowerment
  • Genevieve Chandler, University of Massachusetts - Amherst
This is an exploratory study of nurses' (~= 268) perceptions of work conditions. The theoretical framework was developed from Rogers' nursing model and Kanter's organizational theory. The principle of integrality from Rogers' nursing model was utilized. Integrality predicts changes in life process through the interaction of the individual and environment. Kanter's theory is more specific to the work areas with similar assumptions to Rogers specifically: The interaction between the individual and the work environment produces work behaviors. The sample was from two hospitals of similar size, purpose, and location in northeast Utah. The nurses were informed of the study through presentations by the investigator and by mail. Each voluntary participant received an Effective Work Conditions Questionnaire and a demographic data form. The questionnaire included five subscales (opportunities, supplies, job activities, information, and support) each rated on two 5-point scales. One scale addressed "what there is now ll and the second addressed "what I would like. 1I The first research question addressed whether nurses would perceive the five factors made up of the same components as Kanter's factors. The results of the factor analysis and reliability coefficients indicated nurses perceived three factors as important to effective work conditions: Support, Information, and Opportunity. In response to research questions two and three regarding the relationship between the demographic variables and the three factors a multiple analysis of variance was performed. There were no significant differences found between the individual variables and the three factors. There were significant differences between the hospitals, practice areas, and work time. Hospital 2 was significantly higher on the Support factor. The descriptive data from interviews with the chief nursing administrator and the nursing management team support this result. A multiple analysis of variance determined there was a difference between practice areas within Hospital 1. The difference was in the Support and Information factors. A Tukey's Honestly Significant Difference test was performed to determine on what units Support and Information differed. The results revealed that the critical care nurses perceived they had more support and information than the medical, surgical, or obstetrics units. The interview data validated this perception. There were no significant differences between practice areas within Hospital 2. A multiple analysis of variance was used to determine if there was a significant difference between part-time and full-time workers. In Hospital 1 there was a significant difference with full-time workers perceiving they had more support, information, and opportunity than part-time workers. In Hospital 2 the full-time workers perceived they had more information than the part-time workers. A discussion of the results and the relationship to the literature was presented. The results indicated that there was a correlation between the work environment and the individual which suggests support for Kanter's theory of interaction between individual and environment and Rogers' principle of integrality. Implications for nursing and limitations of this study were given.
Publication Date
Citation Information
Genevieve Chandler. "The relationship of nursing work environment to empowerment" (1986)
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