Concepts: Organization of Nursing Work and the Psychosocial Experience of Nurses

Chapter

Abstract

In this chapter, the intuitive link between balanced, healthy, and supportive psychosocial work environments and a variety of vitally important patient, nurse, and organizational outcomes is discussed with reference to a number of clearly defined and well-researched concepts. Among the essential concepts that ground the rest of the book is the notion of a bundle of factors that provide a context for nurses’ work and are known collectively as the practice environment. Landmark studies that focused specifically on nurses’ experiences of their work environments in exemplary hospitals examined so-called Magnet hospitals, leading to a framework that describes the practice environment and its linkage with professional well-being, occupational stress, and quality of practice and productivity. Many ideas and models have obvious connections to the notion of practice environment such as Job Demand–Control–Support model, worklife dimensions and burnout, concepts related to burnout such as compassion fatigue, and work engagement as a mirror image concept of burnout, as well as notions of empowerment and authentic leadership. These concepts have been chosen for discussion here based on critical masses of evidence pointing to their usefulness in healthcare management and specifically in the management of nursing services. Together all of these concepts and supporting research and scholarship speak to a common point: intentional leadership approaches, grounded in a comprehensive understanding of nurses’ psychosocial experiences of their work, are essential to nurses’ abilities to respond to complex patients’ needs in rapidly changing healthcare contexts and socioeconomic conditions.

Keywords

Nurse shortage Practice environment Magnet hospitals Magnet recogniton program Mortality and comorbidity Burnout Work engagement Compasion fatigue and compassion satisfaction Empowerment Authentic leadership 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nursing and Midwifery Sciences, Centre for Research and Innovation in Care (CRIC), Faculty of Medicine and Health SciencesUniversity of AntwerpAntwerpBelgium
  2. 2.William F. Connell School of NursingBoston CollegeUSA

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