"Understanding the Dynamic Nature of Empowerment"

Sunday, 17 November 2013: 11:40 AM

Jennifer Porter, RN, MSN
Widener Universtiy School of Nursing, Widener University School of Nursing, Chester, PA

Learning Objective 1: The learner will understand the basic premises of the empowerment process, including antecedent conditions and consequences of the construct.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to articulate the benefits of supporting the empowerment process within the various environments that nurses practice.


A concept analysis of the construct Empowerment was performed in order to gain a greater understanding of how individuals, communities, and organizations come to experience the phenomena.


Chin and Kramer’s (2008) method was used to explore the construct Empowerment. Following this method, the purpose for conducting this concept analysis was clarified; evidence was gathered from various sources including music, art, people, and multidisciplinary scientific literature; model, borderline, and contrary cases were developed to highlight the experiences of empowerment; tentative defining criteria were developed for empowerment including antecedent conditions, defining characteristics, and consequences; and finally the conceptual meaning of empowerment was described.


A working definition of Empowerment was constructed: “Empowerment is a uniquely personal and contextually based transformative process, which individuals, communities, and organizations alike may all come to experience. Ultimately the experience of empowerment warrants those empowered with greater control through positive changes” (Jordan, 2012). Antecedents include: support, knowledge, a motivator and opportunity. Defining characteristics of empowerment include empowerment as a transformative process that influences individual’s, community’s and/or organization’s empowerment experience through different mechanisms and thus is uniquely personal. Empowerment is contextually based. Consequences include positive changes and greater control over various aspects of life. 


Empirical evidence highlighhts the benefits of empowered nurses, and includes: increased satisfaction and job commitment greater willingness to share knowledge with others creativity, larger role in decision making processes, and most importantly positive patient outcomes. The empowerment process is a promising mechanism for the development of leadership qualities among nurses. This conceptual analysis of empowerment provides useful information in understanding this process, so that it can be applied among diverse nursing environments within both academic and clinical settings.