In this paper, an objective concept analysis was undertaken to examine the attributes, characteristics and uses of the concept of empowerment A review of the literature and selected empirical referents indicated that empowerment is a complex and multi-dimensional concept Within a nursing context, empowerment can be conceptualized as a composite of (a) attributes that relate to the client, (b) attributes that relate to the nurse, and (c) attributes that belong to both the client and the nurse In a broad sense, empowerment is a process of helping people to assert control over the factors which affect their lives This process encompasses both the individual responsibility in health care and the broader institutional, organizational or societal responsibilities in enabling people to assume responsibility for their own health. Antecedents to and consequences of empowerment, from a nursing perspective, are presented. To adopt truly an empowerment model in nursing, a radical paradigm shift is needed. The final conclusion is that this concept has great utility for nursing practice, education, administration and research