Openness to Experience and Worldviews of Nursing Students in Central Mexico

Monday, July 11, 2011

Luxana Reynaga-Ornelas, MN, RN1
Carol M. Baldwin, PhD, RN, AHN-BC, FAAN2
Armando Hernández-Zúñiga3
Samuel Reyna-Carranza3
María Guadalupe López-Sánchez3
(1)Departamento de Enfermería y Obstetricia sede León, Universidad de Guanajuato Campus León, Division de Ciencias de la Salud, Leon. Guanajuato, Mexico
(2)College of Nursing & Health Innovation; Southwest Borderlands; Director, Center for World Health Promotion & Disease Prevention, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
(3)Departamento de Enfermería y Obstetricia Sede León, Universidad de Guanajuato Campus León. División de Ciencias de la Salud, León, Guanajuato, Mexico

Learning Objective 1: Describe the concepts of absorption as openness to experience and worldview in nursing education.

Learning Objective 2: Compare and contrast the development of openness to experience, and contextual and mechanistic worldviews by along the academic nursing continuum among Mexican nursing students.

Purpose: Absorption is a personality trait associated with openness to experience, i.e., the willingness to destructure conventional modes of cognitive and perceptual processing.  Worldview is the cognitive orientation of an individual. Worldview  has been examined among health providers, including physicians, sociologists and psychologists. These factors have yet to be investigated among nursing students. This study will explore the characteristics of absorption and the contextual and mechanistic worldviews of student nurses in central Mexico along their academic trajectory.

Methods:  Nursing students in their second (N=82), third (N=11) and fourth years (N=35) of training in a baccalaureate nursing program central Mexico completed the Spanish translated Tellegen (1974) Absorption Scale and the worldview Paradigm Inventory (Berry, 1984) to assess these constructs within their academic paths. Chi squared tests and linear regression analysis was performed with PASW18 to address the study aim.

Results: Overall, student demographics showed 81% to be women, with a mean age and standard deviation of 20.9±3.1 years. Mean score for absorption was 21±5. Students were significantly more likely to endorse a contextual (56%) versus mechanistic (44%, p<0.05) worldview. Linear regression showed 27% of the adjusted variance to be accounted for by older age (β=0.27; CI=0.19-0.36; p<0.0001), absorption (β=0.09; CI=0.03-0.14; p<0.01) and contextual versus mechanistic worldview (β=0.57; CI=0.03-1.11; p<0.05).

Conclusion: Findings suggest that as Mexican nursing students matriculate through the training program, their openness to experience (absorption) increases. Over half of the students hold a contextual worldview consistent with higher absorption scores. For some students, their worldview moves from mechanistic to contextual as they progress through training. These findings may be useful for student advising in nursing education, nursing care specialty, and academic and professional career paths. These measures may also inform curriculum and classroom activities in order to address the learning needs of students with differing worldviews.