Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing Education
College of Nursing
Publication Date / Copyright Date
Nova Southeastern University. College of Nursing.
Bonnie Schmidt. 2014. Core professional nursing values as experienced by baccalaureate nursing students who are men. Doctoral dissertation. Nova Southeastern University. Retrieved from NSUWorks, College of Nursing. (12)
Experts have called for greater diversity in the nursing workforce; however, men remain underrepresented in the nursing profession. The presence of cultural dissonance among male nursing students has been documented in prior research but little is known about their values that are culturally influenced. The purpose of this study was to understand and interpret the meaning of core professional nursing values to male baccalaureate nursing students. The research question was: what is the meaning of core professional nursing values to nursing students who are men.
The study setting was an undergraduate baccalaureate school of nursing in the Midwest. Using a purposive, convenience sampling method and van Manen's interpretive phenomenological method, ten semistructured interviews were conducted with nine participants. Documents and images were also analyzed. Data analysis followed the hermeneutic process.
The overarching theme of this study was caring, illustrated by the metaphor of a puzzle. In the first theme, entering program with pieces of the puzzle of caring, participants' personal values aligned with those of the nursing profession and professional values began to form before the nursing education experience. The second theme, finding more pieces of caring, included subthemes of disconnect and change in professional nursing values during the nursing program. Caring as patient-centered relationships (theme three) involved patient interactions, honesty, teamwork, respect and dignity, and privacy/confidentiality. A fourth theme of caring as helping was described in subthemes of altruism, empathy/compassion, advocacy, and competency and safety. Solving the puzzle of caring was theme five, as participants described learning through clinical experiences, both recognizing values and failing to see them demonstrated in nursing practice.
Implications for nurse educators include values clarification and development, experiential teaching strategies, cultural sensitivity, teamwork, and conflict management. Inclusive workplace environments, where nursing and organizational practices reflect professional values, may enhance nurse satisfaction, recruitment, retention, and patient care. Further research is needed; strategies to enhance professional values development and core professional nursing values in different cultures warrant further study. Theories of nursing values that are culturally appropriate could be developed and tested. Implications for public policy include academic-practice partnerships, inclusive admission and hiring practices that promote diversity, and identification of common values in the profession.
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