Joyce-McCoach, J. & Crookes, P. (2011). Measuring 'magnetism' in Australian nursing environments. The Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing (online),29(2), 13-22.
Objective: The aim of this research project was to use the NWI-R:A tool to measure the organisational features that impact on ‘magnetism’ in Australian health facilities. Design The cross sectional survey questionnaire incorporated the Nursing Work Index‑Revised: Australian (NWI-R:A) developed by Joyce and Crookes (2007). Subjects: Participants were registered nursing staff (n=262) including ward nurses and managers within a group of four Australian hospitals. Main outcome measures: To measure the organisational features that impact on ‘magnetism’ in Australian health facilities using the NWI-R:A tool specifically developed for the Australian context. Results: The results have identified a number of consistent patterns in nursing staff views in relation to the magnet features present in their current practice environment. The findings have affirmed results reported by Joyce and Crookes (2007) that respondents in the Australian surveys consider positively, the quality of care and the level of support from management in their workplace. The calibre of leadership and support was also considered favourably as were the relationships between health professionals. Conversely the respondents indicated their workplace provided insufficient nurse participation in decision making and inadequate staffing and resources for practice. Conclusions: The establishment of a tool for the reliable measurement of magnetism in Australian facilities allows for the transferability of the magnet concept to Australia. A better understanding of nursing staff perceptions on the presence of magnet features in their workplace can be used to inform the development of magnetism in Australian health facilities. This research develops the concept of `magnetism’ to health organisations in Australia extending on existing research. By using the magnet framework to underpin the planning and development of organisational governance administrators and managers will be well positioned to improve staff retention.
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