Theory of Organizational Empowerment, for Nurses?

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There is this thing in the quest for a B.S.N. degree called A.P.A. And while I could tell you what I think those letters actually stand for,the fact is that I am forced to use these insane rules of  writing to produce much of my work. What would normally only take 15 minutes to compose takes me an hour when forced to uphold the constraints of the scholarly form.

I rather enjoyed writing my last assignment. Well, let me rephrase that, I enjoyed gaining the knowledge, rearranging the thoughts, and placing the words eloquently on the page. I did not, however, enjoy adding periods and parenethesis on nearly every line of the page. I swear if it had been in red you’d have sworn someoone would have been murdered on the page. Because it seems like scholarly papers are nothing but citations.

Our assignment was in theory application and how utilizing a nursing theory could help to improve what we felt was a  problem or issue in our work setting. Since the recent changes at the hospital, including mandated uniforms and elimination of a long-standing retention bonus, it has been noted that morale among nursing staff is certainly on the decline. Consequently, nurses are starting to look for wok elsewell and well, to put it quite bluntly, they are dropping like flies. My department alone is loosing 3 people in the next few weeks.

Since I tend to think out of the box, and the honestly this ladies theory is right up my alley, I choose to use Rosabeth M. Kanter’s theory of organizational systems. I know. I know. She isn’t a nursing theorist per-say, but her ideas were the topic of so much nursing resaerch and articles that I decided I should at least ask if I could use her.

Thankfully, my instructor is understanding of my out-of-the-box thinking and encouraged me  to use the theory. The Structural Theory of Organizational Empowerment really is very relevant to the nursing profession. Kanter is a professor of business at Harvard and is often listed as one of the 50 most powerful women in the world. It makes sense, she meets with CEOs or huge corporations (like IBM) as a consultant to help them better manage their business. And as much as we may not like to admit, we all know that a hospital is ultimately a business.

The theory discusses the importance of ease of access to information and opportunity within an organization. Oppertunitiy can be any number of things, but primarily the ability to grow in the organization. Systems of formal and nonformal leaders can develope and with increased transparency within an organization nurses morale will show a positive correlation as well.

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The ability to choose one’s own fate and make decisions that matter are important to us as human beings. Also, nurses greatly value their autonomy and it is so difficult when our leash is shortened even more when changes are brought down by the iron fist. Are we expected to use clinical judgement or constantly ask management for approval? Given the resources, and the the choice, nurses will seek out their own answers and will be successful and consequently the organization who employ us will be successful.

Nurses are creative and adaptable individuals. We can accept change and grow with it. However, we need to be informed, respected, and above all valued. And if any of you hospital executives happen to read this, remember, actions speak louder than words.

Show nurses you value them. Empower nurses to provide good care for their patients.


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4 thoughts on “Theory of Organizational Empowerment, for Nurses?”

  1. Ugh! I have papers coming up all needing to be in APA format. Why???????????????????????????????? You are right…takes 2 weeks to put together a 20 minute topic!!!

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