METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study to assess nurses' perceptions towards nursing practice environment and factors associated with their perceptions. A validated Practice Environment Scale of the Nursing Work Index (PESNWI) questionnaire was administered to nurses working in two Ministry of Health hospitals. The questionnaire comprises of five subscales: Participation, Foundation, Managers Support, Workforce Adequacy and Physician/Nurse Relations. Mean scores of >2.50 were considered as favourable, and ≤2.50 were considered as unfavourable. Simple linear and multiple linear regression analysis were employed to identify factors associated with their perceptions. Analysis was carried out using STATA version 14.0.
RESULTS: A total of 366 respondents took part in the study, with a response rate of 98.4%. Majority were working shift (89.6%) and working extended hours (62.3%). In general, the nursing practice environments were rated as favourable. Overall mean score was 2.90±0.03 and four out of five subscales' mean scores were >2.50. Foundation for quality nursing care was perceived as the most favourable subscale, while workforce adequacy was perceived as the least favourable. There were statistically significant association between working extended hours, doing double shift and working during day off with perceived unfavourable workforce adequacy.
CONCLUSION: Nursing practice environment was perceived as favourable in the studied hospitals. Policy makers, service providers, and hospital managers could explore further on human resource planning and management of nursing personnel to tackle the issue of nurse staffing in the country.