Good Work in Nursing and Relationship to Professional Socialization: A Comparative Analysis of Two Research Studies and Implications for Nursing Education

Friday, 3 August 2012: 10:15 AM

Christine Alichnie, PhD, RN
Joan F. Miller, RN, PhD
Department of Nursing, Bloomsburg University, Bloomsburg, PA

Learning Objective 1: Compare two similarities and differences from the findings of the research studies related to Good Work in Nursing and Professional Socialization and values clarification.

Learning Objective 2: Examine two implications for nursing education and research in good work and professional socialization in nursing for the preparation of the next generation of nurses.

Purpose: Nursing practice adheres to high standards regardless of the multi-contextual work environment or the paradigm shift in modern health care.  This concept of Good Work in Nursing has three major characteristics; excellence, ethics, and engagement (Miller, 2006 & Gardner, 2008).  Likewise, professional education results when a professional discipline has devised a system of preparing future practitioners to meet their commitments and fundamental responsibilities to society.  A major aim of professional education is to develop a set of values, attitudes, and beliefs to support the professional roles of independent practitioners in conjunction with the acquisition of cognitive and psychomotor skills (Bandura, 1977).  The presenters of this research session will compare the results of a recent Phase I qualitative research study on Good Work in Nursing to one that dealt with professional socialization, personal values, and interpersonal values.  

Methods: Baccalaureate nursing graduates were given opportunity to reflect on personal values, beliefs, challenges, support systems, and strategies for overcoming obstacles impeding good work in their practice.  These results from the Phase I research will be compared to the findings of a quantitative research study on professional socialization and value clarification of baccalaureate nursing students from the same program of study. 

Results: The results from both studies validate the need for professional education to have opportunities for the neophyte to interact with the discipline’s professionals in order to learn certain aspects pertaining to patient care, concerns and issues of the practitioner, and interrelationships with other professional groups (Cohen, 1981). 

Conclusions: Professional socialization is a complex process, which involves the internalization of the values and norms of the prescribed group into the individual’s own behavior and self-conception.  Recommendations for nursing education will be discussed to maintain Good Work in Nursing.