Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Nurses' perceptions of their work environment and empowerment in relationship to patient satisfaction are well explored in the literature. Empowerment has been linked to improved job satisfaction and improving the elements of empowerment cam improve overall patient satisfaction. This project examined 2 nursing units, 1 with lower patient satisfaction scores (Unit A) and 1 with higher patient satisfaction scores (Unit B), in order to compare their structural empowerment scores as measured by the Conditions of Work Effectiveness Questionnaire II (CWEQ-II). A total of 29 nurses who worked full-time, part-time, or per diem on 1 of the 2 units were recruited to participate in the project (11 from Unit A and 18 from Unit B). Using Kanter's theory as a framework, the nurses were asked to complete the CWEQ-II and overall scores as well as subscale scores were calculated. Scores were estimated using a Mann-Whitney U test given the lack of normality and linearity of the data. Both units had a moderate overall empowerment level (Unit A: 19.55; Unit B: 21.47). Unit A had a significant difference in Access to Resources: Acquiring Temporary Help (z = -2.07, p < 0.05) as compared to Unit B. In comparing nurses with a Bachelor's and higher nursing degree to nurses with less than a Bachelor's degree, there was a significant difference in Access to Resources: Acquiring Temporary Help (z = -3.115, p < 0.05) and overall Resource Subscale (z = -2.157, p < 0.05). The project demonstrates the need for organizations to create a workplace that promotes empowerment among nurses as a strategy to improve patient and organizational outcomes. A work environment that promotes a nurse's control over his or her practice and decision-making ability may lead to higher patient satisfaction and may become the role model of a nursing practice environment as a result.