Taiwanese Nurses' Empowerment and Participation in Decision Making

Wednesday, 9 July 2008
Yi Liu, MSN, RN , Nursing, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX

Learning Objective 1: know the level of Taiwanese nurses’ empowerment and participation in decision making and their predictors.

Learning Objective 2: understand Taiwanese nurses’ empowerment and participation in decision making within the context of gender and Chinese culture.

Background: According to the Institute of Medicine (2004), the quality of patient care is directly affected by the degree to which hospital nurses are empowered in participation in decision making regarding their patients' care plan. To date no study in Taiwan has examined the relationship between nurses' empowerment and participation in decision making (PDM). Furthermore, the work environment of nurses in Taiwan is different from that in western society. In the past, Chinese believed that caring for sick people was the work of servants, and females were mainly responsible for that (Liu, 1998). Since almost all nurses in Taiwan are females, gender and culture definitely play an important role in shaping nurses' perception of their work role.

Purpose: Taiwanese nurses' level of empowerment, PDM, and their predictors are examined, and their work conditions under the context of gender and culture are explored through internet mixed methods.

Method: Feminism and Lashinger's expanded empowerment model are used to guide the study. One hundred and sixty two Taiwanese nurses who are working in hospitals and can use internet are recruited by using convenient sampling method. This study involves two parts, internet web survey and online forum. Three Chinese versioned instruments, Nursing Work Empowerment Scale (NWES), Psychological Empowerment Instrument (PEI), and Decisional Involvement Scale (DIS), are used to measure structural empowerment, psychological empowerment and PDM executively. For the online forum, thirty participants who have already finished the internet survey are invited to participate. In one month, three topics regarding work environment, gender, culture, and power, and PDM are discussed.

Results: pending.

Conclusion: The findings might help Taiwanese nurses to raise their awareness of existing oppression in their working environment. Based on the culture and gender perspectives, nurses' empowerment might have a different outlook and might provide additional directions for empowerment theory.