cho s.-h., mark b.a., yun s.-c. & june k.j. (2011) Differences in intensive care unit work environments among and within hospitals using subscales and a composite measure of the Revised Nursing Work Index. Journal of Advanced Nursing67(12), 2637–2648.
Aim. To examine variations in nurses’ perceptions of their work environments among hospitals and intensive care units, and to compare analytic findings from using subscales and a composite measure of the Revised Nursing Work Index at the hospital and intensive care unit levels.
Background. A positive relationship has been found between the nurse work environment and outcomes for patients and nurses. Nurses’ perceptions of their work environments have been analysed using different analytic approaches.
Methods. A survey was conducted in August–October 2007 that included 817 staff nurses in 39 adult intensive care units of 15 hospitals in South Korea. Seven subscales of the Revised Nursing Work Index were identified from an exploratory factor analysis. The subscales and composite (mean of the seven subscales) for each hospital and intensive care unit were analysed using multilevel regression analyses and classified as good, moderate or poor environments.
Results. Considerable variations in the subscales were found among both hospitals and intensive care units. On the composite measure, 2 hospitals were rated as good, 10 moderate and 3 poor; 9 intensive care units were ranked as good, 24 moderate and 6 poor. Even intensive care units within hospitals exhibited variations in the subscales and composite. Most hospitals and intensive care units had mixed (i.e. good, moderate, poor) environments across the seven subscales and thus, subscales were not always congruent with the composite.
Conclusion. Heterogeneity of the subscales and the composite measure, and the differences among intensive care units within hospitals imply that use of different analytic approaches may reveal different findings and perspectives of nurse work environments.