Aim and objectives. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of an empowerment-based education program (EBEP) on employee empowerment, job satisfaction, job productivity and innovative behaviours for public health nurses (PHN) in Taiwan. Background. Empowerment is an important consideration among nurses trying to function in ever-changing health care and education settings. Several studies focused on the trend of public health nursing revealed that PHN have experienced a severe feeling of powerlessness. Developing empowerment strategies through organisations may be a means of helping employees recognise powerlessness in difficult situations and take appropriate action. Design. Quasi-experimental design. Methods. PHN in two health bureaus in Taiwan were assigned into an empowerment group (n = 29) and a control group (n = 32). Twenty-four hours of the EBEP lasted four weeks included four empowerment classes and four group workshops following each curriculum for PHN to apply principles of empowerment in their work environment. Data were collected at baseline and four weeks after the intervention. Analysis of covariance (ancova) was used to examine the intervention effect. Results. The experimental group reported significantly higher psychological empowerment [F (1,47) = 5·09, MSE = 3·25, p = 0·001, η2 = 0·18] and competence [F (1,47) = 3·96, MSE = 28·78, p = 0·05, η2 = 0·22] and impact [F (1,47) = 4·98, MSE = 44·79, p = 0·002, η2 = 0·20] subscales, job productivity [F (1,47) = 4·88, MSE = 5·18, p = 0·002, η2 = 0·19] and innovative behaviours [F (1,47) = 5·09, MSE = 3·25, p = 0·001, η2 = 0·24] than the control group after the EBEP. Conclusion. The EBEP had significant effect on psychological empowerment and subscales of competence and impact, innovative behaviour and job productivity but no effect on organisational empowerment and job satisfaction for PHN. Relevance to clinical practice. Our findings suggest public health administration could design empowerment-based education to improve employee empowerment and job productivity for PHN. Furthermore, using multiple components to design empowerment education should be considered in further studies.
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