Special Issue "Healthy Work Environments"

A special issue of Administrative Sciences (ISSN 2076-3387).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2017)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Maura MacPhee

The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada
Website | E-Mail
Interests: healthcare leadership; nurses’ work environments; safe staffing; flexible work
Guest Editor
Dr. Joan Wagner

Coordinator of Research and Scholarship, Faculty of Nursing, University of Regina, SK S4S 0A2, Canada
Website | E-Mail
Interests: healthy and productive healthcare workplaces; nursing leadership; spirit at work

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Work environments influence the quality of work life, the well-being of employees. Terms, such as “healthy” work environment, are associated with more engaged, more productive employees and better outcomes for other stakeholders. In healthcare contexts for instance, healthy work environments result in better nurse and patient outcomes. A number of factors are associated with healthy work environments, such as leadership, organizational supports, professional development opportunities, inter-professional relationships and communications. Regular work environment assessments measure quality of life indicators associated with employee outcomes such as job satisfaction and organizational commitment. Healthy work environments may be addressed from many systems levels: from global and national public policy to the local level and the nature of the work. The purpose of this Special Issue is to explore diverse conceptual approaches, and to showcase the latest empirical research associated with healthy work environments and their influence on employees and other key, stakeholders.

Dr. Maura MacPhee
Dr. Joan Wagner
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Administrative Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) is waived for well-prepared manuscripts submitted to this issue. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

•    healthy work environments
•    quality of life
•    professional development
•    organizational supports

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The Synergy Tool: Making Important Quality Gains within One Healthcare Organization
Adm. Sci. 2017, 7(3), 32; doi:10.3390/admsci7030032
Received: 26 July 2017 / Revised: 1 September 2017 / Accepted: 3 September 2017 / Published: 7 September 2017
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Abstract
Background: Evidence-based clinical care delivery begins with comprehensive assessments of patients’ priority needs. A Canadian health sciences corporation conducted a quality improvement initiative to enhance clinical care delivery, beginning with one acute care site. A real-time staffing tool, the synergy tool, was used
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Background: Evidence-based clinical care delivery begins with comprehensive assessments of patients’ priority needs. A Canadian health sciences corporation conducted a quality improvement initiative to enhance clinical care delivery, beginning with one acute care site. A real-time staffing tool, the synergy tool, was used by direct care providers and leadership to design and implement patient-centered care delivery. The synergy tool is the patient characteristics component of the Synergy Model™, developed by an expert panel of nurses in the 1990s. Since then, the tool has been effectively used to assess a variety of patient populations on eight important characteristics, informing real-time staffing decisions. Methods: Plan-Do-Study Act cycles were managed by department-based project teams with assistance from business analytics and a quality/safety officer. Results: Initial findings demonstrate reductions in nurse missed breaks, improved workload management, and significant increases in staff engagement. Conclusions: The synergy tool is an easy-to-use tool that can be used to highlight priority care needs for individual patients or specific patient populations. The tool informs real-time staffing decisions, ensuring a better fit between patient needs and nurse staffing assignments. Although this initiative began with nurses, project work is expanding to include inter-professional teams. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthy Work Environments)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The Importance of Continuing Professional Development to Career Satisfaction and Patient Care: Meeting the Needs of Novice to Mid- to Late-Career Nurses throughout Their Career Span
Adm. Sci. 2017, 7(2), 17; doi:10.3390/admsci7020017
Received: 10 March 2017 / Revised: 17 May 2017 / Accepted: 18 May 2017 / Published: 1 June 2017
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Abstract
This paper provides insights into the role of ongoing training and education on nurses’ career satisfaction across different career stages and their ability to provide quality patient care. Eighteen focus groups were conducted over the course of five months in 2015 (January to
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This paper provides insights into the role of ongoing training and education on nurses’ career satisfaction across different career stages and their ability to provide quality patient care. Eighteen focus groups were conducted over the course of five months in 2015 (January to May) in eight Canadian provinces. There were a total of 185 focus group participants. Each focus group lasted approximately 1.5 h and included 8–15 participants who self-selected in one of three distinct career stages (students, early-career, mid- to late-career). A thematic analysis of the data revealed that ongoing professional development is an expressed need and expectation for nurses across the various career stages. Student and early-career nurses expected sufficient training and education to facilitate workplace transitions, as well as continuing education opportunities throughout their careers for career laddering. For mid- to late-career nurses, the importance of lifelong learning was understood within the context of maintaining competency, providing quality patient care and enhancing future career opportunities. Training and education were directly linked to nurses’ career satisfaction. Healthy work environments were identified by nurses as those that invested in continuing professional development opportunities to ensure continuous growth in their practice and provide optimal quality patient care. Training and education emerged as a cross-cutting theme across all career stages and held implications for patient care, as well as retention and recruitment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthy Work Environments)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle How Well Does the CWEQ II Measure Structural Empowerment? Findings from Applying Item Response Theory
Adm. Sci. 2017, 7(2), 15; doi:10.3390/admsci7020015
Received: 8 March 2017 / Revised: 12 May 2017 / Accepted: 15 May 2017 / Published: 23 May 2017
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Abstract
The main purpose of this paper is to examine the psychometric properties of the original five-point CWEQ II using Item Response Theory (IRT) methods, followed by an examination of the revised three-point CWEQ II. (1) Background: The psychometric properties of the CWEQ II
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The main purpose of this paper is to examine the psychometric properties of the original five-point CWEQ II using Item Response Theory (IRT) methods, followed by an examination of the revised three-point CWEQ II. (1) Background: The psychometric properties of the CWEQ II have not been previously assessed using more robust techniques such as IRT. (2) Methods: This is a secondary analysis of baseline data from 1067 staff nurses whose leaders had attended a leadership development program. Data were analyzed using a polytomous IRT model. (3) Results: The two versions of CWEQ II fit the SE data equally as each had only one poor-fitting item. For the five-point CWEQ II, discriminant ability was poor for a majority of the items; one item demonstrated a disordinal step difficulty parameter; and item reliability was supported for a relatively wider range of SE levels. The discriminant ability and reliability of items for the three-point CWEQ II was better than those of the five-point CWEQ II, but for a narrower range of SE levels; and the disordinal step difficulty parameter was resolved. (4) Conclusion: The appropriate use of each version of the scale depends on the conditions of the work setting targeted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthy Work Environments)
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Open AccessArticle Factor Structure of Almutairi’s Critical Cultural Competence Scale
Adm. Sci. 2017, 7(2), 13; doi:10.3390/admsci7020013
Received: 23 February 2017 / Revised: 9 May 2017 / Accepted: 10 May 2017 / Published: 18 May 2017
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Abstract
This paper reports on a psychometric study conducted to explore the factor structure and refine the Critical Cultural Competence Scale (CCCS). Critical Cultural Competence (CCC) functions to promote the safety, equity, and well-being of patients, their families, and health care professionals. The development
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This paper reports on a psychometric study conducted to explore the factor structure and refine the Critical Cultural Competence Scale (CCCS). Critical Cultural Competence (CCC) functions to promote the safety, equity, and well-being of patients, their families, and health care professionals. The development process of this measurement scale was systematic and iterative, and included generating a pool of potential items based on the theoretical definitions of CCC. In this study, conducted with a sample of 170 registered nurses from British Columbia, Canada, we used Principal Component Analysis (PCA) to explore the factor structure of the initial set of 84 items as a final step in developing the CCCS. The final version of the measure consists of 43 items, and the PCA results supported a four-factor solution consistent with the theoretical underpinnings of the scale. Future research is recommended to further assess the construct validity of this newly created scale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthy Work Environments)
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Open AccessArticle The Impact of Heavy Perceived Nurse Workloads on Patient and Nurse Outcomes
Adm. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 7; doi:10.3390/admsci7010007
Received: 9 January 2017 / Revised: 28 February 2017 / Accepted: 1 March 2017 / Published: 5 March 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (242 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study investigated the relationships between seven workload factors and patient and nurse outcomes. (1) Background: Health systems researchers are beginning to address nurses’ workload demands at different unit, job and task levels; and the types of administrative interventions needed for specific workload
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This study investigated the relationships between seven workload factors and patient and nurse outcomes. (1) Background: Health systems researchers are beginning to address nurses’ workload demands at different unit, job and task levels; and the types of administrative interventions needed for specific workload demands. (2) Methods: This was a cross-sectional correlational study of 472 acute care nurses from British Columbia, Canada. The workload factors included nurse reports of unit-level RN staffing levels and patient acuity and patient dependency; job-level nurse perceptions of heavy workloads, nursing tasks left undone and compromised standards; and task-level interruptions to work flow. Patient outcomes were nurse-reported frequencies of medication errors, patient falls and urinary tract infections; and nurse outcomes were emotional exhaustion and job satisfaction. (3) Results: Job-level perceptions of heavy workloads and task-level interruptions had significant direct effects on patient and nurse outcomes. Tasks left undone mediated the relationships between heavy workloads and nurse and patient outcomes; and between interruptions and nurse and patient outcomes. Compromised professional nursing standards mediated the relationships between heavy workloads and nurse outcomes; and between interruptions and nurse outcomes. (4) Conclusion: Administrators should work collaboratively with nurses to identify work environment strategies that ameliorate workload demands at different levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthy Work Environments)

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Open AccessDiscussion An Inductive Discussion of the Interrelationships between Nursing Shortage, Horizontal Violence, Generational Diversity, and Healthy Work Environments
Adm. Sci. 2017, 7(4), 34; doi:10.3390/admsci7040034
Received: 17 July 2017 / Revised: 8 September 2017 / Accepted: 12 September 2017 / Published: 21 September 2017
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Abstract
The complex features of the nursing shortage, horizontal violence, generational diversity and healthy work environments have frequently been addressed within the context of their singular characteristics, challenges and potential solutions. Yet it is the interrelationships of these phenomena that holds solutions to the
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The complex features of the nursing shortage, horizontal violence, generational diversity and healthy work environments have frequently been addressed within the context of their singular characteristics, challenges and potential solutions. Yet it is the interrelationships of these phenomena that holds solutions to the overarching challenges facing nurses and the nursing profession. Through an inductive approach, a preliminary discussion and related strategies to address the highlighted challenges have been proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthy Work Environments)
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