Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


For the past ninety years Helene Fuld School of Nursing has been preparing nursing students for licensure as registered nurses. The primary objective of this program has been to graduate a competent nurse. It has been assumed that the educators in the school of nursing have the expertise to design a curriculum that would produce competent nurses. Since a major curriculum change for this school of nursing is planned to take place in the next five years, it was essential that all sources should be investigated in order to determine appropriate competencies for curriculum planning. A potential resource that had not been consulted was the patient or consumer of nursing care. Therefore, the problem was to determine which nursing competencies are considered important by the hospitalized patient, the consumer of nursing care. Also related to this problem was the need to compare the choices of the hospitalized patient with nurses and teachers of nursing in designing a new patient centered curriculum for Helene Fuld School of Nursing in Camden County. The purpose of this study was to rank selected nursing competencies that the hospitalized patient, the consumer of nursing care, considered to be important. A secondary purpose was to compare the perceptions of this consumer of nursing care with hospital nurses and teachers of nursing . A thirty item Nursing Competency Survey was submitted to fifty hospitalized medical-surgical patients, fifty nurses practicing on the same units as the patients, and fifty teachers of medical-surgical nursing. In addition to rating thirty selected competencies from "most important" with a numerical value of "five" to "least important" valued at "one," all participants were asked to make additional comments. Mean scores obtained from the rating scales were used to determine the rank order of competencies listed. Rank correlation was computed by means of the Spearman test with alpha level established at 0.05. Data from the survey of nurses and teachers were compared with that of the patients. Results indicated significance between the responses of patients and nurses. No significance was found in the relationship between patients and teachers at the 0.05 alpha level. Agreement existed among all groups regarding the relative low importance of the statements, "the nurse is neat. In appearance" and "explains daily schedule to patient." There was agreement on the value of "respects the feelings of patients" and "gives clear instructions." Differences occurred in "operates equipment skillfully" and "is skillful in giving injections." The patients placed greater emphasis on these psychomotor skills than did the nurses and teachers. Results of this study indicate that patients, nurses, and teachers of nursing differ on the importance of some nursing competencies. Therefore, it is recommended that the care of patients as planned by nurses and taught by teachers of nursing give special consideration to the concerns of the consumer who is the recipient of that care. As a result of this study the Helene Fuld School of Nursing will consider these findings through several different approaches. The Curriculum Committee will include a consumer who has been hospitalized and a hospital nurse when nursing competencies are being included as part of the curriculum design. Clinical assignments will be planned with the input of the patient and evaluated through a patient satisfaction survey following the delivery of care. Hospital nurses and consumers who have been hospital patients will be included in patient care conferences to aid in focusing on appropriate competencies. The inclusion in the curriculum of nursing competencies already identified as important by hospitalized patients, the consumers of care, will begin to create a more patient centered curriculum for Helene Fuld School of Nursing.

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