Linda J. Pettitt, RN, MSN (2002)

Linda J. Pettitt, RN, MSN. Professional Nursing Governance and Staff Nurse Self-Concept. Master’s thesis (2002), Gardner-Webb University School of Nursing; Boiling Springs, NC.


An aging workforce and declining nursing program enrollments highlight the importance of staff nurse retention. Participation in work decisions can improve job satisfaction, thereby reducing nursing turnover. Nurse self-concept may affect the degree to which staff nurses participate in decision-making activities. A correlational study of staff nurses in three acute care hospitals was carried out to determine if there was a difference between the self-concept of staff nurses in a shared governance organization and organizations with traditional nursing governance. A random sample of 66 RNs completed two questionnaires, the Index of Professional Nursing Governance (Hess, 1998) and the Nurses’ Self-Concept Questionnaire (Cowin, 2001), with a usable response rate of 22%. The results of the independent samples t-test and analysis of variance did not support the hypothesis that staff nurse self-concept would be higher in an organization with shared governance, although the results did show a significant difference (t = 1.785, p = 0.04) in the self-concept of nurses working in a unit shared governance environment. Further investigation with a larger sample and other practice settings is indicated.
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Cowin LS. Measuring nurses’ self-concept. Wes J Nurs Res. 2001;23:313-325.