New CE Module - Power and Empowerment in Nursing: Looking Backward to Inform the Future

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There are compelling reasons to empower nurses. Powerless nurses are ineffective nurses. Powerless nurses are less satisfied with their jobs and more susceptible to burnout and depersonalization. This module, taken from an OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing article, begins with an examination of the concept of power; move on to a historical review of nurses’ power over nursing practice; describe the kinds of power over nursing care needed for nurses to make their optimum contribution; and conclude with a discussion on the current state of nursing empowerment related to nursing care.  Empowerment for nurses may consist of three components: a workplace that has the requisite structures that promote empowerment; a psychological belief in one’s ability to be empowered; and acknowledgement that there is power in the relationships and caring that nurses provide. A more thorough understanding of these three components may help nurses to become empowered and use their power for better patient care.