Caring in Traditional and Non-Traditional Nursing Students

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Denise M. McEnroe-Petitte, PhD, MSN, BSN, AS, RN
Nursing, Kent State University Tuscarawas, New Philadelphia, OH, USA

The purpose of this study was to examine traditional and non-traditional nursing students to determine if there are significant differences in caring.  A descriptive comparative design was conducted using a convenience sampling with nursing students in an associate degree nursing program in northeastern Ohio.  A demographic survey and the Caring Efficacy Scale (CES) were given to the students to complete.  Data was analyzed to determine the measures of central tendency including frequencies, means, and standard deviation (SD).  Independent t-tests were used for the mean responses and SD utilized to measure the dispersion of the data.  The total number of students participating was 249.  Traditional students were identified as 29.7% of the total while the non-traditional students were 70.3% of the group.  The total scores for the CES of the traditional students were 157.24 with a SD of 13.31 and non-traditional students’ total scores were 158.63 with a SD of 14.49.  Results indicated that there were no significant differences identified between the two groups.  Despite the findings, nurse educators must analyze the types of students who are entering nursing programs while assessing for those with caring as a part of their personality and interest for joining nursing.  Without caring, patient outcomes may be affected.  The results of this study indicated that caring, as the key to the nursing profession, is a needed attribute for those entering and pursuing care for individuals they are assigned to nurse.    


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