Date of Conferral





Health Services


Lee W. Bewley


The persistent and chronic nursing shortage presents an urgency to understand the root causes of nurses' increasing mobility and movement within and outside of the nursing workforce. A key to understanding nurses' dissatisfaction is to explore the work environment in which they practice. The purpose of this heuristic, phenomenological study was to understand nurses' experiences of oppression and the power dynamics in the hospital setting, which may provide insight to nursing turnover. The conceptual framework was Harvey's civilized oppression theory. Data were collected from semistructured interviews of 9 registered nurses by phone that met inclusion criteria of having more than a year of experience in a hospital setting. The data were analyzed for codes and themes. Study findings showed all participants had perceptions and experiences of civilized oppression and claimed that power and ability to influence their work environment resided with groups other than nursing. Lastly, participants also had a perception of an ideal work setting with shared governance and civility at all levels and all nursing roles within the nursing profession. This study has a direct impact on strategies to address population health, community wellness and global health as the nursing workplace plays a role in shifting the paradigm of care from a sickness model to a wellness model.