Get access

Using a social capital framework to enhance measurement of the nursing work environment

Authors

  • Brenda Helen Sheingold PhD, RN,

    Assistant Professor, Secretary to the Faculty, Coordinator Healthcare Quality MSN, Corresponding author
    • School of Nursing, The George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Steven H. Sheingold PhD

    Director
    1. Division of Health Financing Policy, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, US Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC, USA
    Search for more papers by this author

Correspondence

Brenda Helen Sheingold

The George Washington University

School of Nursing

2030 M Street, NW

Suite 300

Washington, DC 20036

USA

E-mail: bsheingo@email.gwu.edu

Abstract

Aim

To develop, field test and analyse a social capital survey instrument for measuring the nursing work environment.

Background

The concept of social capital, which focuses on improving productive capacity by examining relationships and networks, may provide a promising framework to measure and evaluate the nurse work environment in a variety of settings.

Methods

A survey instrument for measuring social capital in the nurse work environment was developed by adapting the World Bank's Social Capital – Integrated Questionnaire (SC-IQ). Exploratory factor analysis and multiple regression analyses were applied to assess the properties of the instrument.

Results

The exploratory factor analysis yielded five factors that align well with the social capital framework, while reflecting unique aspects of the nurse work environment.

Conclusion

The results suggest that the social capital framework provides a promising context to assess the nurse work environment. Further work is needed to refine the instrument for a diverse range of health-care providers and to correlate social capital measures with quality of patient care.

Implications for nursing management

Social capital measurement of the nurse work environment has the potential to provide managers with an enhanced set of tools for building productive capacity in health-care organisations and achieving desired outcomes.

Ancillary