Relationships Between Self-Directed Learning Ability and the Characteristics on Their Career Intention of Nurses in Japan

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Shimpei Hayashi, RN, PHN, MS
Takahiro Kakeda, MSN, RN, PHN
Keiko Hattori, RN, MNPC, PhD
Miki Saito, RN, PHN, MSN
Misae Ito, PhD, MSN, RN, NMW
Department of Nursing Faculty of Haelth and Welfale, Kawasaki University of Medical Welfare, Kurashiki, Japan

Learning Objective 1: understand relationships between self-directed learning ability and the characteristics of nurses in Japan.

Learning Objective 2: consider the circumstances and continuing education for clinical nurses.

Background: The self-directed learning is the ability of learning, growing, and developing by oneself. It is important for all nurses to devote themselves to their study as nursing profession.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to clarify the relationships between the self-directed learning ability and the demographic characteristics such as gender, age, and educational status etc.; one’s will to work continuously, to enter the next stage of education, and to acquire qualification; or the existence of nursing role models.

Methods: In this study, 805 self-administered questionnaires were distributed to clinical nurses working in a national teaching hospital in Japan. The consent to the use of the self-directed learning scale (Nishimura, 1995) was given by the author.

Results: Two hundred and eighty two nurses responded to the survey with a valid response rate of 35.0%. There were 10 males and 272 females with the age of 33.5±10.0 years, and the period of working as a nurse were 11.3±9.6 years. There were not statistical differences between the self-directed learning scores and the demographic characteristics such as gender and marital status. However, the nurses who had been willing to take an in-hospital certified course and who had their nursing role model significantly acquired higher scores of the self-directed learning scale than those who did not (p<0.05 and p<0.01 respectively). The nurses who were in the older age group and/or with longer nursing career significantly were pointed the lower scores (both p<0.01).

Conclusion: Positive self-directed leaning attitude of the nurses was connected to higher motivation to take an in-hospital certified course and having good nursing models. On the other hand, older age and longer working experiences influenced negatively on their self-directed learning abilities. This study was partially supported by the Kawasaki University of Medical Welfare Scientific Research Fund.