Concept of Empowerment In Nursing Education

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Use of Empowerment In Nursing Education

Concept of Empowerment In Nursing Education

What Is Empowerment Nursing Education,Implementation of Empowerment In Nursing Education,Outcomes of Empowerment In Nursing Education,Benefits for Both Students and Educators.

What Is Empowerment Nursing Education

    Spreitzer (1995) defines empowerment as an interpersonal factor that involves motivational and cognitive processes such as finding meaning in one's role, feeling self efficacious to engage in the role, perceiving oneself as self-determined, and feeling as though one's contributions to the work environment have an impact. Conger and Kanungo (1988) defined empowerment as a motivational construct where individuals engage in behaviors that enable or enhance another person's belief in their abilities to achieve goals, engage in decision making find meaning in their work, and work with a sense of autonomy within bureaucratic constraints. 

    Bradbury Jones, Sambrook , and Irvine (2007) define student empowerment in the practice setting as being envisioned on a continuum of more or less empowerment in terms of feeling understood, being respected and included, and being encouraged to learn. However, empowerment results from mentorship, placement continuity, and sufficient and quality time in practice. When these antecedents are available, then student outcomes can include strong self-esteem, a drive for learning, and an interest in the placement setting (Bradbury-Jones, Sambrook , & Irvine, 2007). 

    This definition of empowerment evolved to being composed of knowledge and confidence as core structures, with influencing extrinsic spheres (such as being valued as a team member, learner, and person; having a supportive mentor; practicing in a placement that included a positive culture; and social and political factors that enabled empowerment to occur) impacting students' development of empowerment (Bradbury Jones, Irvine, & Sambrook , 2010).

Implementation of Empowerment In Nursing Education

    Studies with nurses and nurse managers in the practice context have been linked to psychological empowerment, decreased incivility and burnout ( Laschinger , Grau , Finegan , & Wilk , 2010), increased organizational citizenship (Gilbert, Laschinger , & Leiter , 2010); increased recruitment and retention ( Laschinger , Leiter , Day, & Gilin , 2009 and patient satisfaction (Purdy, Laschinger , Finegan , Kerr, & Olivera , 2010). 

    Clinical instructor and student empowerment have been associated with student self efficacy in acute care settings ( Babenko  Mould , Iwasiw , Andrassy, Laschinger , & Weston, 2012), Structural empowerment was associated with psychological empowerment among students in a problem based.learning program;Psychological empowerment was positively associated with mentoring quality and job satisfaction and negatively related to job stress among nursing faculty (Chung & Kowalski, 2012), Empowerment was positively associated with teachers' perceptions of their own use of empowering teaching behaviors and students' perceptions of those same behaviors ( Babenko Mould et al, 2012) Student empowerment was evident when practice environments consisted of a positive culture and where mentoring relationships supported students' knowledge and confidence (Bradbury Jones et al., 2010).

Outcomes of Empowerment In Nursing Education

    A foundational concept analysis of the term empowerment has resulted in the term being conceptualized from an organizational, personal development, and emancipator perspective ( Kuokkanen & Leino Kilpi , 2000, 2007). According to Kanter's (1977, 1993) theory of structural power in organizations, power relates to an individual's ability to achieve goals by mobilizing human and material resources. To do so, individuals need to have informal and formal power ( Kanter , 1993). Informal power results from connections in the organization such as peers, employees, and mentors, Formal power is developed as a result of being engaged in a role that provides autonomy and flexibility to support feelings of being central and relevant to the organization. 

    When individuals have formal and informal power, they are more likely to have access to empowering structures to help them achieve organizational goals. The structures include supports, resources, information, and opportunities to develop and learn.Research findings demonstrate that empowerment has been applied to student and faculty populations in both the classroom and practice-based context. Empowerment has been assessed from the organizational, personal development, and emancipator perspectives. Empowerment of self and others intersects among social, cultural, and political factors and appears to be instrumental in student professional development as well as a possible influencing factor in nurse educators' intentions to remain in the role.

Benefits for Both Students and Educators

    Educators and students need to have a strong sense of empowerment, including how empowerment impacts practice and learning processes. When nurse educators develop and implement empowering teaching behaviors, students tend to envision that person as a role model and incorporate those behaviors in a similar way of being into their own sense of self as a soon-to-be nurse (Babenko Mould et al , 2012). Integrating the concept of empowerment into nursing education could support the enactment of empowerment as a core element of practice in academic and in professional practice settings.

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