International Nursing: How Much Power Do Nurse Managers Have?

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Abstract

This study was conducted to explore issues of nurse managers' power and empowerment. Data were collected from nurse managers by way of a questionnaire consisting of background factors, work-related questions, and power-related questions at the unit and organization levels. The degree of empowerment was evaluated using 2 established instruments (CWEQ-II and Work Empowerment Questionnaire). The overall level of managers' personal power within their own units was relatively high. Nurse managers' perception of their power at an organizational level was found to be at a moderate level. Several factors related to an individual's professional background were correlated to power issues, both at the unit and organizational levels. Structural and psychological empowerment correlated with the overall level of power at a unit level and the overall level of power at an organizational level. Nurse managers self-reported their own general power at a unit level as high, which offers them possibilities to lead the development of nursing care in their units. Organizations may benefit more from nurse managers' leadership by more fully integrating them in the development processes of the entire organization.

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