Seeking Connectivity in Nurses' Work Environments: Advancing Nurse Empowerment Theory

Sonia Udod

Abstract


The purpose of this study was to investigate how staff nurses and their managers exercise power in a hospital setting in order to better understand what fosters or constrains staff nurses' empowerment and to extend nurse empowerment theory. Power is integral to empowerment, and attention to the challenges in nurses' work environment and nurse outcomes by administrators, researchers, and policy-makers has created an imperative to advance a theoretical understanding of power in the nurse-manager relationship. A sample of 26 staff nurses on 3 units of a tertiary hospital in western Canada were observed and interviewed about how the manager affected their ability to do their work. Grounded theory methodology was used. The process of seeking connectivity was the basic social process, indicating that the manager plays a critical role in the work environment and nurses need the manager to share power with them in the provision of safe, quality patient care.

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