Structural empowerment and patient safety culture among registered nurses working in adult critical care units

Authors


Donna Armellino
North Shore University Hospital
300 Community Drive
Manhasset
New York 11030
USA
E-mail: darmelli@nshs.edu

Abstract

armellino d., QuinnGriffin m.t. & Fitzpatrick j.j. (2010) Journal of Nursing Management18, 796–803
Structural empowerment and patient safety culture among registered nurses working in adult critical care units

Aim  The aim of the present study was to examine the relationship between structural empowerment and patient safety culture among staff level Registered Nurses (RNs) within adult critical care units (ACCU).

Background  There is literature to support the value of RNs’ structurally empowered work environments and emerging literature towards patient safety culture; the link between empowerment and patient safety culture is being discovered.

Methods  A sample of 257 RNs, working within adult critical care of a tertiary hospital in the United States, was surveyed. Instruments included a background data sheet, the Conditions of Workplace Effectiveness and the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture.

Results  Structural empowerment and patient safety culture were significantly correlated. As structural empowerment increased so did the RNs’ perception of patient safety culture.

Conclusion  To foster patient safety culture, nurse leaders should consider providing structurally empowering work environments for RNs.

Implications for nursing management  This study contributes to the body of knowledge linking structural empowerment and patient safety culture. Results link structurally empowered RNs and increased patient safety culture, essential elements in delivering efficient, competent, quality care. They inform nursing management of key factors in the nurses’ environment that promote safe patient care environments.

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