Development and psychometric testing of the Nursing Workplace Relational Environment Scale (NWRES)

Maree Duddle, Maureen Boughton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims and objectives: The aim of this study was to develop and test the psychometric properties of the Nursing Workplace Relational Environment Scale (NWRES).

Background: A positive relational environment in the workplace is characterised by a sense of connectedness and belonging, support and cooperation among colleagues, open communication and effectively managed conflict. A poor relational environment in the workplace may contribute to job dissatisfaction and early turnover of staff.

Design: Quantitative survey.

Method: A three‐stage process was used to design and test the NWRES. In Stage 1, an extensive literature review was conducted on professional working relationships and the nursing work environment. Three key concepts; collegiality, workplace conflict and job satisfaction were identified and defined. In Stage 2, a pool of items was developed from the dimensions of each concept and formulated into a 35‐item scale which was piloted on a convenience sample of 31 nurses. In Stage 3, the newly refined 28‐item scale was administered randomly to a convenience sample of 150 nurses. Psychometric testing was conducted to establish the construct validity and reliability of the scale.

Results: Exploratory factor analysis resulted in a 22‐item scale. The factor analysis indicated a four‐factor structure: collegial behaviours, relational atmosphere, outcomes of conflict and job satisfaction which explained 68·12% of the total variance. Cronbach’s alpha coefficient for the NWRES was 0·872 and the subscales ranged from 0·781–0·927.

Conclusion: The results of the study confirm the reliability and validity of the NWRES. Replication of this study with a larger sample is indicated to determine relationships among the subscales.

Relevance to clinical practice: The results of this study have implications for health managers in terms of understanding the impact of the relational environment of the workplace on job satisfaction and retention.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)902-909
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Issue number6
Early online date12 Feb 2009
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes


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