• goal attainment;
  • King;
  • nurses;
  • nurse manager;
  • professional autonomy;
  • Sieloff

Aim  A pilot study to examine staff nurses’ perceptions of, and relationships between, group goal attainment capability and professional autonomy.

Background  A nursing group’s capability to employ appropriate nursing interventions leads to improvement in patient outcomes. Nurses’ goal attainment capability plays a role in achieving high-quality patient outcomes and may be related to professional autonomy.

Method  Staff nurses (N = 90) in one community hospital completed the Sieloff–King Assessment of Group Goal Attainment Capability within Organizations and the Nursing Activity Scale instrument.

Results  Staff nurses reported high goal attainment capability and high professional autonomy, and a positive significant but weak correlation (r = 0.24, < 0.05) was found between nurses’ perceptions of group goal attainment capability and perceptions of professional autonomy. Three of the eight group goal attainment subscales were positively correlated with professional autonomy including: group leaders’ goal attainment capability competency, goals/outcomes competency and goal attainment capability perspective.

Conclusion  While three subscales of goal attainment capability were significant, the correlations were weak between professional autonomy and group leader’s goal attainment competency, goals/outcome competency and goal attainment perspective.

Implications for Nursing Management  Nurse managers can play a key role in nurses’ group goal attainment capability and perceived professional autonomy.