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Keywords:

  • organizational climate;
  • work environment;
  • nursing practice;
  • caring;
  • nurse–patient relations;
  • unlicensed assistive personnel

Abstract

Organizational climate in healthcare settings influences patient outcomes, but its effect on nursing care delivery remains poorly understood. In this mixed-methods study, nurse surveys (N = 292) were combined with a qualitative case study of 15 direct-care registered nurses (RNs), nursing personnel, and managers. Organizational climate explained 11% of the variation in RNs' reported frequency of caring practices. Qualitative data suggested that caring practices were affected by the interplay of organizational climate dimensions with patients and nurses characteristics. Workload intensity and role ambiguity led RNs to leave many caring practices to practical nurses and assistive personnel. Systemic interventions are needed to improve organizational climate and to support RNs' involvement in a full range of caring practices. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.