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ERIC Number: ED556898
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 219
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-3038-5743-0
Thinking Like a Nurse and Perceived Readiness for Professional Practice: A Mixed Methods Study
Bowdoin, Carol
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Mercer University
Thinking like a nurse (TLN) has been identified as a core competency of professional nursing practice. The term embraces the full context of the daily metacognitive process nurses use to provide competent nursing care and was theorized in this study to have four attributes: critical thinking, clinical judgment, moral reasoning, and professional competence. The purpose of this mixed methods study was to explore relationships among the attributes of thinking like a nurse and prelicensure nursing students' perceived readiness for professional practice. Using a convergent, parallel mixed methods design, a convenience sample of 110 pre-licensure nursing students were recruited via web-based methods including email and Facebook. Quantitative data about moral reasoning (Professional Values Scale), professional competence (Professional Actions Survey), and readiness for practice (Casey-Fink Readiness for Practice Survey); along with qualitative data around thinking like a nurse were collected using SurveyMonkey(TM)software. Critical thinking and clinical judgment were measured with the proprietary Health Sciences Reasoning Test. Qualitative data were analyzed using analytic methods of van Manen (1990; 2007), Lincoln and Guba (1985), and Creswell and Plano-Clark (2010). Results indicated the sample was predominately female (91.8%) and White (82.7%), with a mean age of 27.2 SD 8.4) years. The majority were currently enrolled in a baccalaureate (BSN) program (93.6%) in the Southern region of the United States (95.4%). Correlational analyses indicated greater perception of professional competence was significantly associated with greater moral reasoning (r = 0.21, p<0.05). Multiple regression analyses of predictors of perceived readiness for practice revealed the regression model was statistically significant (R[superscript 2] = 0.23, p < 0.001). Younger age (p = 0.02), prior or current healthcare experience (p = 0.02), and greater professional competence (p = 0.002) were statistically significant predictors of greater perceived readiness for professional practice. Qualitative themes around thinking like a nurse included: "thinking quickly", "always doing the right thing", "patient advocacy and compassion", and "having a different state of mind". Themes emerging from the data when students reported a situation where they thought like a nurse included: "rescue situations", "skilled assessment", and "non-academic experiences". Two themes emerged from qualitative data focused on perceived readiness for practice: "ready, confident learner" and "not ready, need more clinical skills". Convergence of the quantitative and qualitative data was demonstrated. The findings from this study uniquely contribute to the evolving body of nursing education research by providing a rich description of the experiences of nursing students as they learn to think like a nurse and prepare to transition to the professional nursing role. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A