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Title:The Relationships Between The Formal Continuing Education of Registered Nurses, Their Personal Career Commitment, and The Professionalization of Nursing
Author(s):Schoen, Delores Christina Harmon
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Health
Abstract:The historical development of nursing as a predominately female occupation serves as a backdrop for present efforts to achieve full professional recognition for the field. Attention is being focused on gaining legal and institutional support for raising the level of the educational credentials possessed by nurses and for broadening the scope of nursing practice. To respond to the rapid pace of change in the area of health care delivery and to raise the professional standards of currently practicing nurses, great emphasis has been placed upon continuing education. To investigate relationships between continuing education of nurses, their personal career commitment and the professionalization of nursing, the present study tested the following hypotheses: (1) that nurses with a high level of career commitment are more professional in their behavior and attitude; (2) that nurses with a high level of career commitment are more likely to have a more favorable attitude toward and greater participation in continuing education; (3) that more professionally oriented nurses are likely to have a more favorable attitude toward and greater participation in continuing education.
Data were obtained from 80% of a random sample of 395 currently registered nurses living in the State of Illinois. The concepts of attitude toward and participation in continuing education, career commitment, and professional behavior and attitude were operationalized by means of composite indexes. The hypotheses were then tested in a multiple regression format using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences. It was found that participation in continuing education was significantly related to current employment status, professional behavior and age, while attitude toward continuing education was significantly related only to professional behavior and professional attitude. Neither attitude toward nor participation in continuing education was significantly related to either parental status or initial nursing program. Professional behavior was significantly related to measures of career commitment, while professional attitude was not significantly related to career commitment but was significantly affected by initial nursing program. The latter effect is indicative of strong opposition among those surveyed to requiring a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree for either entry into nursing practice or promotion to head nurse positions. Despite that opposition, the nurses surveyed were almost evenly split on whether or not continuing education should be made mandatory for relicensure.
The thrust of the present study emphasizes the positive and significant relationships between measures of the career commitment of nurses and their professional behavior, including their participation in continuing education. Efforts in the direction of strengthening the commitment of nurses to full-time nursing careers may thus be an important avenue for furthering the professionalization of nursing.
Issue Date:1980
Description:130 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1980.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8026588
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-12
Date Deposited:1980

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