The Development of Professional Self-Concept and Leadership Skills Among New Graduate Nurses

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Sarah Elizabeth Kelly, PhD
Molly Naft, SN
Allison Bautista, SN
Maria LoGrippo, PhD
School of Nursing, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ, USA


Nurses are responsible for providing holistic care to individuals and meeting their healthcare needs. Because of this responsibility, it is imperative to adequately prepare nursing students for their professional role. Leading professional nursing organizations such as the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) believe that nursing education should address appropriate competencies geared toward the professional role of nurses (AACN, 2014). Upon the point of graduation, nurses are expected to have the critical thinking skills, leadership capabilities, and problem solving abilities necessary to provide safe and effective care (Gardulf et al., 2016). New graduate nurses learn through their knowledge, skill, and attitude development during their educational experiences. Equipped with appropriate skills and clinical decision-making abilities, the professional nurse is able to provide holistic care in a challenging patient care environment (AACN, 2008). Therefore, the purpose of this study is to explore how experiences of new graduate nurses impact their professional self-concept and leadership competencies.


A descriptive exploratory study will be conducted to obtain information related to new graduate nurses’ professional self-concept and leadership competencies. This is a cross-sectional non-experimental research design using a web based survey method. The participants will be asked to complete two surveys: 1) The Professional Self-Concept Nurses Instrument, a 27-item scale measuring professional practice, satisfaction, and communication; 2) The Nurse Professional Competence (NPC) Scale – leadership subscale. The NPC scale is an 88-item instrument used to measure competences among nurses. The leadership subscale is a 26-item subscale that measures leadership and development. Each survey takes approximately 15-20 minutes to complete. In addition to the two surveys, the participants will be asked to complete a demographic survey.

A convenience sample of nurses, who self-identify as a new graduate nurses were invited to participate this study. A new graduate nurse is defined as a nurse who successfully passed the National of Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX) between June 2015 and May 2016 who is currently employed as a registered nurse.


The institutional review board (IRB) has been approved and the study questionnaires are currently being disseminated. At this time, we do not have any initial results to report.


As this study is currently ongoing and we do not have an initial analysis completed, we cannot speculate on the impact or conclusion of this study.