Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Kenneth D. Phillips

Committee Members

Mary Gunther, Joanne Hall, Ralph Brockett


Aim. The aim of this study was to examine generational differences among acute care nurses on empowerment, professional practice, authentic leadership, incivility, job satisfaction, engagement and intent to leave the current job.

Background. Empowerment in nursing is a well-studied subject. Perceptions of professional practice environments, authentic leadership and incivility are related to empowerment. An increase in empowerment has been linked to job satisfaction and the likelihood of leaving one’s job or the profession. The nursing shortage forces attention to job satisfaction and keeping the professionals we currently have in the profession. Generational differences exist within different cohorts of nurses and can affect how they respond within their job and organization.

Method. Descriptive and inferential analyses of the demographic and major study variables, along with reliability assessments of the study instruments were conducted. Generational differences were determined using general linear modeling. The hypothesized structural model was tested using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) with Proc CALIS in SAS.

Results. A sample of 210 nurses working in the hospital setting in the East Tennessee were included in the study. Significant associations among the variables were observed. There were no differences detected between the generational groups. The hypothesized model did not fit. After review, the final model was improved to acceptable associations among variables.

Conclusion. Given the current multi-generational status of nurses and the state of nursing, efforts should be made to support and assist the needs of the various generations. Providing empowering environments, with authentic leaders and a professional practice environment increases job satisfaction, and is likely to provide an environment in which the nurse will want to remain.

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