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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Perceptions of nursing as a profession of students graduating from college-based nursing diploma programs Ouellet, Marie Louiselle Lise


This study examined the perceptions of nursing as a profession of students graduating from college-based nursing diploma programs. To answer the research question, the Concept of Nursing Scale designed and tested by Valiga (1982) was administered to 101 students in British Columbia Colleges approximately four weeks prior to graduation. Demographic data were also obtained. The responses were coded and scored by hand and the data entered into computer files. The statistical package used for analysis consisted of the SCSS Conversational System (Nie, et al., 1980). The concepts reflected in the Valiga Concept of Nursing Scale consist of: (a) boundaries of the profession, (b) recipient of the profession's service, (c) goals of the profession, (d) relationship of the profession to others, (e) independence of the practitioner, (f) responsibility of the practitioner, (g) scholarly component of the profession, (h) autonomy of the practitioner, (i) commitment of the practitioner, and (j) activities of the profession. Scores were high in the areas of definition, client, goals, and scholarship. These results indicated that: (a) the students surveyed had a clear definition of the scope of the profession, (b) they were able to identify the recipient of the profession's service and the goal of the profession, and (c) they recognized a scholarly component to the profession. The scores in the areas of independence and commitment were marginally lower than in the four areas mentioned above. These findings implied that the students graduating from college-based nursing diploma programs perceived nursing as functioning independently and that commitment was viewed as a characteristic of the nursing profession. Finally, the scores in the areas of autonomy, responsibility, relationships, and activities were low. These results indicated that the students surveyed perceived nursing as having minimal control over its practice and did not view the members of the profession as being responsible and accountable for their own actions. In addition, these students did not have a clear understanding of the nature of nursing's relationship with other members of the health care team and were uncertain as to the activities of the nurse.

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