Empowerment is an important aspect of nursing practice. In addition to psychological and emotional benefits, the concept has a positive impact on nursing practice. The paper describes the role of the concept in my learning journey and determines its contribution to the baccalaureate nurse transition process.
The topic which I consider particularly influential in terms of my nursing practice is nursing empowerment. The topic impacted my learning journey in two ways. First, it provided the information on the historical development of the concept and, by extension, offered several valuable insights on the milestones in the evolution of the nurses’ role in healthcare. For instance, I find it particularly revealing that empowerment is intrinsically tied to the concept of care due to the fact that power has been traditionally associated with masculinity (Manojlovich, 2007). Since nursing profession is historically aligned with femininity, it becomes apparent that empowerment was only possible as a result of fundamental changes in the cultural landscape of the society.
Second, and, perhaps, more importantly, the topic has outlined the main practical benefits of empowerment in the workplace. Specifically, I was able to establish the relationship between empowerment and professional expertise. According to Manojlovich (2007), empowerment is a necessary prerequisite for acquiring power and influence over nursing practice. In addition, it serves as an important component of professional autonomy or the capacity for decision-making in unfamiliar and challenging situations. In my opinion, capacity for judgment and application of relevant knowledge to real-life situations is one of the important determinants of the quality of care delivered by a nursing practitioner and contributes to favorable patient outcomes.
Another aspect of empowerment expected to impact my nursing practice is its effect on the perception of work. Specifically, empowered nurses are less likely to experience stress and are less vulnerable to burnout, which compromises the quality of care while at the same time undermining emotional and psychological climate in the healthcare setting. In addition to evident personal benefits, this knowledge will influence my interaction with other staff members. Specifically, I intend to contribute to empowerment by sharing sources of power available to me and provide support to co-workers who exhibit signs of stress and burnout. Finally, I find the connection between empowerment and state of nursing education a particularly revealing insight. Participation in and support of educational and training events are known to increase professional autonomy and equip nursing practitioners with techniques and tools necessary for timely and efficient delivery of care. Therefore, I intend to collaborate with nursing educators to promote the consistency and relevance of knowledge delivered in the setting.
The latter aspect of the topic can be considered the main contribution to my transition into the role of the baccalaureate nurse. The expanding scope of nursing responsibilities characteristic of the modern healthcare setting places increasingly more responsibilities on nursing practitioners. The baccalaureate programs offered to nurses address the issue by introducing new areas of knowledge in the training process. In addition to expanding professional expertise, the described process greatly expands the scope of opportunities available to baccalaureate nurses. The emphasis on education described above identifies an important milestone for me as a baccalaureate nurse. Thus, I consider it an important step in the process of transition to the role in question.
Nursing empowerment impacts the quality of care provided by nurses in several ways. Since its establishment in the theoretical domain, the concept has contributed to professional autonomy, improved the applicability of nursing knowledge, and, by extension, resulted in the improvement of the quality of care. Therefore, I believe that the obtained knowledge has a positive impact on my nursing practice.
Manojlovich, M. (2007). Power and empowerment in nursing: Looking backward to inform the future. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 12(1), 1-10.