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Res Nurs Health. 2002 Jun;25(3):176-88.

Development of the practice environment scale of the Nursing Work Index.

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School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19104-6096, USA.


Five subscales were derived from the Nursing Work Index (NWI) to measure the hospital nursing practice environment, using 1985-1986 nurse data from 16 magnet hospitals. The NWI comprises organizational characteristics of the original magnet hospitals. The psychometric properties of the subscales and a composite measure were established. All measures were highly reliable at the nurse and hospital levels. Construct validity was supported by higher scores of nurses in magnet versus nonmagnet hospitals. Confirmatory analyses of contemporary data from 11,636 Pennsylvania nurses supported the subscales. The soundness of the new measures is supported by their theoretical and empirical foundations, conceptual integrity, psychometric strength, and generalizability. The measures could be used to study how the practice environment influences nurse and patient outcomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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