Nurses' perceptions of their empowerment to be patient advocates

Squires Ruelokke, Violet Doreen (1999) Nurses' perceptions of their empowerment to be patient advocates. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

A descriptive correlational survey was designed to investigate perceptions of autonomy and attitudes toward patient advocacy in a random sample (N =183) of practising registered nurses in Newfoundland and Labrador. The effect of work-related variables and barriers/facilitators in the practice environment on nursing autonomy and enactment of the patient advocacy role was also explored. The conceptual framework for the study was based on Lydia Hairs model of nursing practice. -- Most respondents had a RN diploma education (68%), worked in acute care settings (63.2%), were female (95.1%), and had ten or more years of nursing experience (60.5%). Data were collected over a two month period. Instruments used during data collection included the revised 47-item Pankratz and Pankratz (1974) Nursing Autonomy/Patients' Rights Questionnaire, and the modified Romaniuk (1988) Questionnaire on Patient Advocacy as a Nursing Role. The survey response rate was 23.8%. -- Study findings indicated that most nurses had positive attitudes toward nursing autonomy and patient advocacy as a nursing role, and believed they were performing the patient advocacy role, were committed to it, and had peer support. Work-related variables had a minimal effect on nurse perceptions of autonomy and patient advocacy. Community health nurses and those with greater educational preparation had more positive views toward autonomous practice and the patient advocacy role than other nurses. With regard to barriers/facilitators in the practice environment, emphasis was placed on the importance of administrative support, adequacy of knowledge and understanding of the advocacy role, and conducive work relations with peers and physicians. -- The results of this study suggest that nurses are engaging in autonomous practice and acting as patient advocates. The factors found to affect autonomy and successful enactment of the advocacy role support some of the findings from previous research. There is certainly a need to conduct further research to examine the effects of the practice environment and adequacy of preparation on autonomy and patient advocacy.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/9231
Item ID: 9231
Additional Information: Bibliography: pages 100-113.
Department(s): Nursing, School of
Date: 1999
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Patient advocacy; Autonomy; Nurses--Newfoundland and Labrador--Attitudes
Medical Subject Heading: Patient Advocacy; Attitude of Health Personnel; Nurses

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