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Keywords:

  • autonomy;
  • concept analysis;
  • nurses work engagement;
  • trust

antoinette bargagliotti l. (2012) Work engagement in nursing: a concept analysis. Journal of Advanced Nursing68(6), 1414–1428.

Abstract

Aim.  This article is a report of an analysis of the concept of work engagement.

Background.  Work engagement is the central issue for 21st century professionals and specifically for registered nurses. Conceptual clarity about work engagement gives empirical direction for future research and a theoretical underpinning for the myriad studies about nurses and their work environment.

Method.  Walker and Avant’s method of concept analysis was used. Nursing, business, psychology and health sciences databases were searched using Science Direct, CINAHL, OVID, Academic One File, ABI INFORM and PsycINFO for publications that were: written in English, published between 1990 and 2010, and described or studied work engagement in any setting with any population.

Results.  Work engagement is a positive, fulfilling state of mind about work that is characterized by vigour, dedication and absorption. Trust (organizationally, managerially and collegially) and autonomy are the antecedents of work engagement. The outcomes of nurses’ work engagement are higher levels of personal initiative that are contagious, decreased hospital mortality rates and significantly higher financial profitability of organizations.

Conclusion.  When work engagement is conceptually removed from a transactional job demands-resources model, the relational antecedents of trust and autonomy have greater explanatory power for work engagement in nurses. Untangling the antecedents, attributes and outcomes of work engagement is important to future research efforts.