Using the Journey to Empowerment Professional Development Seminar to Enhance Nurses' Sense of Empowerment

Monday, 9 November 2015: 10:40 AM

Denise M. McNulty, DNP, MSN, BSN, RN-BC, ARNP
Clinical Learning, Lee Memorial Health System, Fort Myers, FL, USA

Several studies have examined the effect of staff nurse empowerment on patient outcomes. Nurses who perceive themselves to be empowered are more likely to use more effective work practices resulting in positive patient outcomes.  With the growing complexity and challenges of healthcare reform, nurses need to feel psychologically empowered so that they can effectively manage their nursing practice and improve patient care. In an effort to enhance nurses' sense of empowerment in the workplace, a professional development seminar entitled The Journey to Empowerment for Nurses was offered to nurses employed by a six Hospital Healthcare System in Southwest Florida.  The effectiveness of the empowerment seminar in enhancing nurses’ sense of psychological empowerment in the workplace was evaluated using a confidential survey. The measure, Dr. Gretchen Spreitzer's Psychological Empowerment Instrument, has been used and found to be valid in health care and specifically valid with nurses. A pre-survey was conducted at the beginning of the empowerment seminar. Each Instrument was assigned an identification number to protect the participants' identities. The nurses were invited to retake the Instrument three months after attending the professional development seminar. A criterion to participate in the study was that participants be employed by the Healthcare System as an inpatient or outpatient Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse. Findings revealed that the professional development seminar may be an effective intervention in enhancing nurses' sense of empowerment which may have implications for both practice and academic settings.