Measuring Nurse Leaders’ and Direct Care Nurses’ Perceptions of a Healthy Work Environment in Acute Care Settings, Part 3: Healthy Work Environment Scales for Nurse Leaders and Direct Care Nurses

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Survey items on the Healthy Work Environment Scales (HWES) for nurse leaders (NLs) and direct care nurses (DCNs) were developed using statements from 2 qualitative research studies conducted in a healthcare system.

PURPOSE

The purposes of 2 quantitative studies were to develop items on the HWES for NLs and DCNs, to assess the validity and reliability of these new tools, and to describe the NLs and DCNs perceptions of a healthy work environment (HWE) using nonexperimental descriptive designs.

METHODS

Each research study had 2 separate phases. In phase 1 of the studies, NLs and DCNs assigned each item to 1 of the 8 characteristics of an HWE to assess face validity. Content validity was determined by calculating the scale content validity and item content validity indices. Based on these results, the items were revised or deleted to obtain version 3 of both tools. In phase 2 of the studies, principal component analysis (PCA) assessed the validity of the tools, Cronbach’s α served as the test for reliability, and the NLs and DCNs perceptions of an HWE were measured.

RESULTS

Samples included 314 subjects for the HWES for NL study and 986 subjects for the HWES for DCN study. Principal component analysis for the HWES for NLs (version 3) revealed 40 items comprising 4 components, and PCA for the HWES for DCNs (version 3) revealed 39 items comprising 5 components. Internal consistencies of the tools were 0.974 and 0.957, respectively. Based on the findings of these studies, the tools demonstrated promising psychometric properties to measure a HWE in acute care settings.

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