Professional values of baccalaureate nursing students in Jamaica

Sandra L. Chisholm-Ford, Pauline Anderson-Johnson, Mauvette J. Waite, Sheryl N. Garriques-Lloyd


Background/Objective: Print, broadcast and social media in Jamaica have highlighted numerous negative attitudes and behaviours of practicing nurses, while anecdotal reports indicate that attitudes and values displayed by a significant number of nursing students have been less than desirable. Professional values of nursing students are engendered during interactions and associations with nursing professionals; therefore, this study aims to determine professional values of nursing students as well as associations between age and professional values.

Methods: A descriptive study was conducted among 102 randomly selected third year students from a school of nursing. Data were collected using a modified version of the 5-dimension (Caring, Trust, Professionalism, Activism and Justice) 26-item Nurses Professional Values Scale-Revised (NPVS-R) Tool. This tool has a scale ranging from 1-5 with 1 representing “not important” and 5 representing “most important”. Data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 17.0. Descriptive statistics including mean and standard deviation were used to summarize the data.

Results: The response rate was 98% and all respondents were females aged 19-39 years. Overall mean scores for the tool were high (4.40 ± 0.51). Trust scored highest (4.62 ± 0.41) and Caring lowest (4.20 ± 0.52). Also, of the 26 items, “honest and accurate documentation” scored highest (4.88 ± 0.41) and the item “willing to take risks to protect clients and colleagues”, scored lowest (3.15 ± 1.08). The oldest respondents (25-39 years) scored highest on items related to Professionalism but lowest on Caring, Activism and Justice; while the youngest respondents (19-21 years) scored lowest on Professionalism.

Conclusions: Caring and Professionalism received the lowest scores. Notably, the value of Professionalism increased with age while the Caring value decreased. In an effort to improve all professional values among future nurses, a multi-dimensional approached should be undertaken to maintain the standards of nursing care and to improve public perception.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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