Methods: For this study, a nonexperimental descriptive design was used. A convenience sample of 205 Japanese nurses with 1 to 6 years of clinical experiences and a mean age of 25.5 years old were recruited from 3 hospitals located in a city in western Japan. Because the process of self-transcendence is considered to be triggered by a vulnerable situation in the theory of self-transcendence, vulnerability of hospital nurses was assessed by the years of experience in a clinical setting, conceptualizing that the novice nurses were the most vulnerable as a nurse and that nurses with more years of clinical experience would be less vulnerable. The level of self-transcendence was assessed by the Japanese Self-Transcendence Scale (JSTS) and Japanese Spiritual Perspective Scale (JSPS), and the level of well-being was assessed by the Self-Esteem Scale, Identity Status Scale, Burnout Scale (subdivided by personal accomplishment, emotional exhaustion, and dehumanization), and Clinical Nursing Competency Scale which was newly developed by researchers for this study. Emotional Intelligence, a personal factor, considered to facilitate the process of self-transcendence in this study, was examined by the Japanese version of the Wong and Low Emotional Intelligence Scale (JWEIS). Pearson`s correlation was used to analyze the relationships among all the variables.
Results: The results indicated that there were significant relationships between vulnerability and self-transcendence. Specifically, the years of experience in a clinical setting had a significant positive relationship between spiritual self-transcendence, that is, the nurses with more clinical experiences demonstrated higher spiritual self-transcendence. Self-transcendence variables demonstrated moderately strong positive correlations with the level of self-esteem, identity status, nursing competency and moderately strong negative correlations with burnout variables. In addition, emotional intelligence had a moderately strong significant relationship with self-transcendence variables.
Conclusion: The findings of this study provided a confirming effect of self-transcendence on well-being in Japanese hospital nurses. It can be said that nurses with a higher level of self-transcendence would demonstrate higher self-esteem, more established identity, and lower level of burnout. Also, emotional intelligence may be a key factor on the process of self-transcendence. Further investigation will be needed.
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