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J Nurs Manag. 2008 Nov;16(8):1002-11. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2834.2006.00667.x.

Magnet hospital characteristics in acute general hospitals in Ireland.

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St. Vincent's University Hospital, Elm Park, Dublin 4, Ireland.



The aim of this research was to investigate characteristics of the nursing practice environment and the impact of organizational structures and processes on nursing in 11 major acute general hospitals in Ireland from the perspective of staff-nurses (n = 368) and Directors of Nursing (n = 10).


The study was descriptive, cross-sectional and quantitative. The Nursing Work Index-Revised (NWI-R) and an instrument developed by Havens were used and Directors of Nursing supplied hospital documentary evidence of organizational structures and processes. A convenience sample of 368 staff-nurses and 10 Directors of Nursing, participated.


Staff-nurses had a moderately positive perception of relationships with doctors (2.77); autonomy in practice (2.56); organizational support (2.51) and control over practice settings (2.35). A significant statistical difference was found between the practice environments in the 11 hospitals, particularly in relation to organizational support (P = 0.001); control over practice setting (P = 0.003); nurse autonomy (P = 0.004) and nurse-doctor relationships (P = 0.024).


When comparisons were made with US Magnet hospital research findings, lower scores on all dimensions of professional practice environment were achieved by Irish nurses.

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