Nurse Educators’ Workplace Empowerment, Burnout, and Job Satisfaction: Testing Kanter's Theory

George Brown College, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Journal of Advanced Nursing (Impact Factor: 1.74). 05/2004; 46(2):134-43. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2003.02973.x
Source: PubMed


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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    • "Rosabeth Kanter's structural theory of power in organizations (1993) provided the theoretical framework for the study. The theory has been tested in nursing populations (e.g., Laschinger, 1996) and among nursing educators (Sarmiento et al., 2004) and as a conceptual framework in a sample of preceptors (Dibert and Goldenberg, 1995) and was found to be useful. According to Kanter (1993), staff behaviors and attitudes at the workplace are determined mainly by social structures and less by personal predispositions. "
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Preceptors play a critical role in the process of developing nursing students' knowledge, skills and ability to make independent and critical judgments, however relatively little is known about what aspects are associated with nurses' performance as preceptors. OBJECTIVES: To investigate structural conditions and professional aspects of potential importance to nurses' perceptions of their performance as preceptors, and to evaluate the validity and reliability of a questionnaire measuring nurses' perceptions of being a preceptor. METHODS: The study had a correlational design. Total population sampling (N=1720) in a county council district in central Sweden was used to screen for nurses with recent preceptor experience, 933 nurses responded (response rate 54%), of those 323 nurses fulfilled the inclusion criteria. The present findings are based on data from 243 of these subjects. Data were collected with a questionnaire and analyzed using multiple regressions analyses, exploratory factor analyses and reliability coefficients. RESULTS: The results show that aspects such as receiving feedback on the function as a preceptor, being able to plan and prepare the clinical education period, receiving support from unit managers and having specific supervision education explain 31% of nurses' overall view of their performance as preceptors. However, structural conditions and professional experiences could not explain preceptors' use of reflection and critical thinking when acting as preceptors. These findings are discussed within the framework of Kanter's structural theory of power in organizations. Further, the psychometric evaluation showed that the questionnaire is a valid and reliable instrument for measuring nurses' structural conditions for and perceptions of their performance as preceptors. CONCLUSIONS: Structural conditions such as feedback and support seemed to strengthen nurses' general view of their performance as preceptors but did not seem to facilitate nurses' work toward the aim of higher education and helping nursing students develop critical thinking.
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    • "Eighty-nine full-time nurse educators were surveyed to measure their empowerment, burnout, and job satisfaction levels. Nurse educators surveyed perceived their work environment as only " somewhat empowering (M = 12.18, SD = 2.27) " (Sarmiento et al., 2004, p. 139). The results showed empowerment was signifi cantly inversely related to all burnout dimensions (p < 0.01), and signifi cantly correlated with job satisfaction . "
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    Full-text · Article · May 2012 · Journal of Nursing Education
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    • "Interestingly, a national sample of RNs found that 85AE2% of nurse faculty were 'moderately to highly satisfied with their jobs as faculty members' (Bargagliotti 2006, p. 118). In cases where job dissatisfaction is high, burnout is more prevalent and may adversely affect productivity, if not leaving the job altogether (Sarmiento et al. 2004). Despite the fact that the relation among some of these constructs have been explored previously (e.g. "
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