Nurse educators' workplace empowerment, burnout, and job satisfaction: testing Kanter's theory.

George Brown College, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Journal of Advanced Nursing (Impact Factor: 1.69). 05/2004; 46(2):134-43. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2003.02973.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Empowerment has become an increasingly important factor in determining college nurse educator burnout, work satisfaction and performance in current restructured college nursing programmes in Canada.
This paper reports a study to test a theoretical model specifying relationships among structural empowerment, burnout and work satisfaction.
A descriptive correlational survey design was used to test the model in a sample of 89 Canadian full-time college nurse educators employed in Canadian community colleges. The instruments used were the Conditions of Work Effectiveness Questionnaire, Job Activities Scale, Organizational Relationship Scale, Maslach Burnout Inventory Educator Survey and Global Job Satisfaction Questionnaire.
College nurse educators reported moderate levels of empowerment in their workplaces as well as moderate levels of burnout and job satisfaction. Empowerment was significantly related to all burnout dimensions, most strongly to emotional exhaustion (r = -0.50) and depersonalization (r = -0.41). Emotional exhaustion was strongly negatively related to access to resources (r = -0.481, P = 0.0001) and support (r = -0.439, P = 0.0001). Multiple regression analysis revealed that 60% of the variance in perceptions of job satisfaction was explained by high levels of empowerment and low levels of emotional exhaustion [R(2) = 0.596, F (1, 86) = 25.01, P = 0.0001]. While both were significant predictors of perceived job satisfaction, empowerment was the stronger of the two (beta = 0.49).
The results provide support for Kanter's organizational empowerment theory in the Canadian college nurse educator population. Higher levels of empowerment were associated with lower levels of burnout and greater work satisfaction. These findings have important implications for nurse education administrators.

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