Using Empowerment to Build Trust and Respect in the Workplace: A Strategy for Addressing the Nursing Shortage

Heather K. Spence Laschinger; Joan Finegan


Nurs Econ. 2005;23(1):6-13. 

In This Article


The results of this study shed light on intermediate processes that mediate the relationship between the presence of empowering work structures in nursing environments and valued organizational outcomes such as job satisfaction and organizational commitment. The nursing profession is facing a serious nursing shortage that will reach disastrous proportions within the next half decade. Buerhaus, Staiger, and Auerbach (2000) argue that the nature of the work environment in nursing contributes significantly to this shortage. Nurses in this study reported low levels of organizational justice, feelings of being respected, and trust in management. On the other hand, these variables were strongly related to the extent to which they believed they had access to workplace empowerment structures, and ultimately, to their levels of satisfaction with their jobs and commitment to the organization. These results suggest that creating conditions that empower nurses to practice according to the standards of the profession and that foster positive working relations within an atmosphere of trust and respect can go a long way toward attracting and retaining a sustainable nursing workforce.


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