1. Bacon, Cynthia Thornton PhD, RN, CNE
  2. Shrestha, Smriti MS, MA
  3. Jenkins, Marjorie PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE


OBJECTIVE: This study explored the types of decisions and differences in decision making that nurses made in different types of hospital units.


BACKGROUND: The relationship between nurses' participation in decision making and the different types of hospital units where they work is not well understood.


METHODS: Nurses' participation in decision making was explored using the Participation in Decision Activities Questionnaire. The final sample included 307 nurses in 24 nursing units in 6 hospitals.


RESULTS: Nurses overall participated more in clinical than administrative decisions, and there were significant differences based on unit type. Critical care nurses had the highest and general care units the lowest levels of participation in decision making.


CONCLUSIONS: Nurses in critical care units participated in higher amounts and at higher levels of clinical decisions overall than either intermediate or general care units. Nurse leaders should determine barriers to decision making in general care units and explore mechanisms to increase participation by clinical nurses.