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Keywords:

  • nurse empowerment;
  • quality of nursing care;
  • abdominal surgical care;
  • Lithuania

Scand J Caring Sci; 2012; 26; 3–11 Lithuanian nurses’ assessments of their empowerment

Aims and objectives:  The aim was to explore nurse empowerment and the factors associated with it from the viewpoint of surgical nurses.

Design:  A multicentre cross-sectional, descriptive, correlational study design was used.

Setting and participants:  The data were collected from 11 units of seven largest Lithuanian hospitals located in three major cities during the period of 11/2007 to 01/2008. All the nurses (N = 270) working in the abdominal perioperative settings were invited to participate in the study; 247 questionnaires were returned giving the response rate of 91 %. The data were analyzed on the basis of 218 responses. The statistical analysis was performed by SPSS (12.0 version).

Instruments:  Two instruments, both originally developed in Finland and adapted to the Lithuanian cultural context, were used: Nurse Empowerment Scale (NES) and Good Nursing Care Scale for Nurses (GNCS-N).

Results:  Surgical nurses evaluated their work empowerment positively. Several background factors were associated with nurse empowerment, such as nurse education, type of nurse license (working area), the continuing nurse education (completed courses during last 5 years), the workload at hospital, the work independence, and work satisfaction. The connection between nurse empowerment and quality of nursing care was also identified (r = 0.139–0.525, p < 0.01).

Conclusions:  Surgical nurses feel empowered at their work when they have higher education and have completed the continuing education courses. Nurses should have possibility to continue their studies at the university. Independent at work, satisfied, and motivated nurses have more power at their work in the surgical units in Lithuania. However, further research is needed to explore nurse empowerment in other fields of nursing care nationally and internationally.