Can existing personal qualities measures be used to examine nursing students’ professional and personal attributes?
- Publication Type:
- Journal Article
- Focus on Health Professional Education, 2013, 15 (2), pp. 41 - 54
- Issue Date:
Background: Schools of nursing continue to be challenged because students who display unprofessional behaviour are being allowed to progress through pre-registration programs. The inclusion of a personal qualities assessment as part of the admissions process may address this issue; however, no instrument currently used for selecting nursing students measures the range of personal qualities required in a practising nurse. Aim: The aim of this study was to determine whether a test battery known as the Personal Qualities Assessment is an appropriate instrument to measure the personal qualities of nursing students. Methods: A literature review identified studies that explored the personal qualities of a professional nurse. Thematic analysis identified recurring patterns, both in the literature and in the Australian Nursing and Midwifery professional codes and standards statements. The codes and standards statements were compared and mapped by an expert panel to the traits measured by the Personal Qualities Assessment. Inter-rater agreement analysis was used to demonstrate the experts’ agreement with each other in the mapping exercise. Results: The Personal Qualities Assessment was found to map closely to the personal qualities desired in a registered nurse as expressed in the Australian Nursing and Midwifery professional codes and standards statements. There was a strong level of agreement between experts (item-IRA=0.5–1) in their mapping of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery professional codes and standards statements and the Personal Qualities Assessment. Conclusion: The Personal Qualities Assessment could make a useful addition to the admission process by helping to determine whether students wishing to enter into nursing education meet selection criteria.
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