Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


College of Nursing


Nursing Practice

First Advisor

Beverly Baliko

Second Advisor

Joan Culley


The often toxic work environment in which nurses practice contributes to decreased well-being, job dissatisfaction, and poor retention rates, while negatively impacting quality and patient safety. Most leadership programs and resources target nurses in formal leadership positions and are exclusive of the bedside nurse. The purpose of this research utilization project was to determine immediate and short-term outcomes of an educational leadership workshop for nurses, including intent to change the work environment and subsequent action to change the work environment. The goal was to develop, deliver, and evaluate an evidence-based educational intervention to empower nurses at all levels of care to improve communication and conflict management in the workplace. A transformational systems approach was used, collaboratives were formed, and academic-practice relationships were built to provide a pilot workshop for 247 RNs in North Carolina (NC). Surveys were used to measure the outcomes of this intervention immediately following and six weeks after the workshop. The majority of participants committed to one or more activities and to change a behavior to improve the workplace. There was a significant weak positive relationship between intent to change the workplace and participants' engagement (r=.22), as well as coping behaviors (r=.33). There was a significant difference in education level (p=.0007) and employment position (p=.005) regarding intention to change the work environment. Baccalaureate and graduate prepared nurses, and those in staff nurse and manager roles, expressed greater intention to change the work environment, relative to diploma/associate degree nurses and administrators. Follow-up indicated that baccalaureate-prepared nurses and staff nurses were pursuing activities focused on behavioral change and activism, and staff nurses and managers were pursuing interests in research participation. A formative evaluation indicated that the workshop was well-received. This collaborative effort resulted in a sustainable intervention to provide leadership tools and resources for all nurses in NC. Recommendations include establishing reliability and validity of the survey instruments and utilizing evaluation feedback to guide future workshops. This pilot intervention was a united endeavor to empower a diverse group of nurses to actively engage in improvement of their work environments. Findings demonstrated the value of the workshop for future programming.


© 2013, Molly Patton

Included in

Nursing Commons