To understand the work value profiles and explore factors affecting the work values of student nurses.
A cross-sectional design involving 164 junior and senior baccalaureate student nurses in Southern Taiwan was employed to explore the work value profiles and the factors influencing the perceived work values of nursing students. Surveys were completed anonymously, and contained three categories: demographic characteristics, the Chinese version of the short-form revised Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQR-S; Liao, 2001), and Adolescents' Work Values Inventory (Li & Ou, 2011). Internal consistency of Cronbach Alpha was shown to be .666, .722, .462, .042 on the four dimensions of extraversion, neuroticism, lying, and psychoticism on personality questionnaire, and .881, .942, .870, .867, .883, .911, .937, .856 on the eight dimensions of beyond, realistic, growth, respect, organization, relationship, security, and comfort on the work values inventory. The first four dimensions of the work values inventory represented “terminal (intrinsic) values”, while the latter four dimensions represented “instrumental (extrinsic) values”. Perceived work values were measured on a 6-point Likert scale with sum scores of 48 indicating “very important” and 8 meaning “not important” on each 8-item dimension. Descriptive statistics, t tests, One-way ANOVA, Pearson correlation coefficient, and stepwise multiple linear regression analyses were carried out through SPSS 18.0.
Overall, students perceived realistic (M±SD = 30.01±4.93), relationship (30.23±4.56), and security (30.24±4.98) as their three most important work values. Junior students perceived realistic (M = 31.26) and security (M = 31.01) values, while senior students perceived relationship (M = 29.81) and security (M = 29.67) values as their most important work values. Also, juniors’ perceptions of the importance of realistic (F = 3.44, p < .01) and growth (F = .96, p < .05) values were significantly greater than those of seniors. Comparing across different levels of students’ self-reported average practice grades, significant differences were shown on the beyond values (F = 3.19, p < .05). Age (r = - .22, p < .01) and parents’ marriage status (r = .17, p < .05) were negatively and positively correlated with the realistic and organization values, respectively. Among the eight work value dimensions, the beyond dimension showed the most significantly positive correlation with the demographic characteristics of willingness to do nursing work (r = .19, p < .05), levels of self-reported average practice grades (r = .17, p < .05), satisfaction toward practice grades (r = .20, p < .01), and satisfaction toward the clinical practice arrangement (r = .30, p < .001). The personality trait of extraversion revealed a significantly positive correlation with beyond (r = .27, p < .01), growth (r = .25, p < .01), and relationship values (r = .16, p < .05). Finally, students’ satisfaction toward the clinical practice arrangement and extraversion accounted for 16.00% of the variance in predicting students’ terminal values.
Students’ practice performances could potentially influence their terminal values, thus affecting their willingness to do nursing work. And, strategies should be applied by educators when arranging clinical placements for students in order to enhance their experiences and satisfaction toward clinical practice. Finally, it is important for nurse managers to identify work value profiles and address work value conflicts between newly graduated student nurses with specific personality traits and the nursing unit as a whole in order to foster greater job satisfaction thus stabilize the retention rate of new nurses.