Nursing intellectual capital theory: operationalization and empirical validation of concepts
Article first published online: 16 NOV 2012
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Journal of Advanced Nursing
Volume 69, Issue 8, pages 1785–1796, August 2013
How to Cite
2012) Nursing intellectual capital theory: operationalization and empirical validation of concepts. Journal of Advanced Nursing 69(8), 1785–1796.& (
- Issue published online: 11 JUL 2013
- Article first published online: 16 NOV 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 6 OCT 2012
- continuing education;
- exploratory factor analysis;
- human capital;
- nurse staffing;
- nursing theory
To present the operationalization of concepts in the nursing intellectual capital theory and the results of a methodological study aimed at empirically validating the concepts.
The nursing intellectual capital theory proposes that the stocks of nursing knowledge in an organization are embedded in two concepts, nursing human capital and nursing structural capital. The theory also proposes that two concepts in the work environment, nurse staffing and employer support for nursing continuing professional development, influence nursing human capital.
A cross-sectional design.
A systematic three-step process was used to operationalize the concepts of the theory. In 2008, data were collected for 147 inpatient units from administrative departments and unit managers in 6 Canadian hospitals. Exploratory factor analyses were conducted to determine if the indicator variables accurately reflect their respective concepts.
The proposed indicator variables collectively measured the nurse staffing concept. Three indicators were retained to construct nursing human capital: clinical expertise and experience concept. The nursing structural capital and employer support for nursing continuing professional development concepts were not validated empirically.
The nurse staffing and the nursing human capital: clinical expertise and experience concepts will be brought forward for further model testing. Refinement for some of the indicator variables of the concepts is indicated. Additional research is required with different sources of data to confirm the findings.