Towards a comprehensive theory of nurse/patient empowerment: applying Kanter’s empowerment theory to patient care
Article first published online: 25 NOV 2009
© 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Journal of Nursing Management
Special Issue: This issue: Leading innovation and change Issue editors: Kristiina Hyrkäs and Kimberly Harvey
Volume 18, Issue 1, pages 4–13, January 2010
How to Cite
SPENCE LASCHINGER, H. K., GILBERT, S., SMITH, L. M. and LESLIE, K. (2010), Towards a comprehensive theory of nurse/patient empowerment: applying Kanter’s empowerment theory to patient care. Journal of Nursing Management, 18: 4–13. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2834.2009.01046.x
- Issue published online: 28 JAN 2010
- Article first published online: 25 NOV 2009
- Accepted for publication: 4 August 2009
- patient care;
- patient empowerment;
- psychological empowerment;
- structural empowerment
spence laschinger h.k., gilbert s., smith l.m. & leslie k. (2010) Journal of Nursing Management18, 4–13 Towards a comprehensive theory of nurse/patient empowerment: applying Kanter’s empowerment theory to patient care
Aim The purpose of this theoretical paper is to propose an integrated model of nurse/patient empowerment that could be used as a guide for creating high-quality nursing practice work environments that ensure positive outcomes for both nurses and their patients.
Background There are few integrated theoretical approaches to nurse and patient empowerment in the literature, although nurse empowerment is assumed to positively affect patient outcomes.
Evaluation The constructs described in Kanter’s (1993) work empowerment theory are conceptually consistent with the nursing care process and can be logically extended to nurses’ interactions with their patients and the outcomes of nursing care.
Key issues We propose a model of nurse/patient empowerment derived from Kanter’s theory that suggests that empowering working conditions increase feelings of psychological empowerment in nurses, resulting in greater use of patient empowerment strategies by nurses, and, ultimately, greater patient empowerment and better health outcomes.
Conclusions Empirical testing of the model is recommended prior to use of the model in clinical practice.
Implications for Nursing Management We argue that empowered nurses are more likely to empower their patients, which results in better patient and system outcomes. Strategies for managers to empower nurses and for nurses to empower patients are suggested.