University of Oulu

Anja Terkamo-Moisio, Mira Palonen, Heli Vaartio-Rajalin, Laura-Maria Peltonen, Pirjo Partanen, Helena Leino-Kilpi, Marja Kaunonen, Pirjo Kaakinen, Arja Häggman-Laitila, Structural and psychological empowerment of students obtaining continuing leadership education in Finland–a national survey, Nurse Education Today, Volume 116, 2022, 105456, ISSN 0260-6917,

Structural and psychological empowerment of students obtaining continuing leadership education in Finland : a national survey

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Author: Terkamo-Moisio, Anja1; Palonen, Mira2; Vaartio-Rajalin, Heli3;
Organizations: 1University of Eastern Finland, Finland
2Tampere University, Finland
3Gerontological Care, Åbo Akademi University, Finland
4University of Turku, Finland
5Turku University Hospital, Finland
6Tampere University and Pirkanmaa Hospital District, Finland
7University of Oulu, Finland
8University of Eastern Finland, Helsinki social and health care, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-08-31


Background: In nursing, empowerment may be deemed one’s potential to gain power, achieve goals and promote one’s skills to advance positive changes in the working environment, or decentralization of authority. Empowerment is associated with nurse’’ and nurse leaders’ satisfaction, performance and organizational commitment, as well as burnout, emotional exhaustion and intentions to leave the profession. Research on nurse empowerment in relation to continuing education is sparse.

Objectives: This study describes the structural and psychological empowerment levels of students beginning a collaboratively implemented continuing leadership education program.

Design: Cross-sectional electronic survey.

Settings: National, continuing nursing leadership education program (37 ECT) organized by five universities that provide masters level education to nurse leaders in Finland.

Participants: Students (N = 85) working at nine healthcare organizations across the service system as current or prospective nurse leaders and enrolled in the continuing leadership education program.

Methods: The Conditions of Work Effectiveness Questionnaire and the Work Empowerment Questionnaire were each used to measure structural and psychological empowerment, respectively. The data were collected between October 2019 and February 2020.

Results: A total of 69 students participated (response rate 81%). Moderate levels of both structural and psychological empowerment were observed. In structural empowerment, the strongest dimension was access to opportunity (4.1, SD 0.7), whereas access to support was the weakest (2.7, SD 0.7). The strongest psychological empowerment dimension was verbal empowerment (8.5, SD 1.9) and the weakest was outcome empowerment (7.0, SD 1.6).

Conclusions: Nurses and nurse leaders seem to lack the status and power required to impact their organizations, possibly causing them to apply for nursing leadership education. Nurse leaders should be given opportunities for continuing leadership education to improve empowerment and, as a result, staff outcomes.

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Series: Nurse education today
ISSN: 0260-6917
ISSN-E: 1532-2793
ISSN-L: 0260-6917
Volume: 116
Article number: 105456
DOI: 10.1016/j.nedt.2022.105456
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 316 Nursing
Copyright information: © 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (