Why did I become a nurse? Personality traits and reasons for entering nursing

Eley, Diann and Eley, Rob and Bertello, Marisa and Rogers-Clark, Cath (2012) Why did I become a nurse? Personality traits and reasons for entering nursing. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 68 (7). pp. 1546-1555. ISSN 0309-2402


This article is a report of a mixed method study of the association between personality traits of nurses and their reasons for entering nursing.
Background. The worldwide nursing shortage prompts research into better understanding of why individuals enter nursing and may assist in exploring ways to increase their recruitment and long term retention.
Design. A mixed method sequential explanatory design employed semi-structured interviews and a validated personality inventory measuring temperament and character traits.
Methods. Registered Nurses (n = 12) and nursing students (n = 11) working and studying in a regional area of Queensland Australia were purposively sampled for the interviews in 2010 from their participation in the survey in 2009 investigating their personality traits. Qualitative data collection stopped at saturation. A thematic content analysis of the qualitative data using the framework approach was interpreted alongside their personality trait profiles.
Results. Two dominant themes were identified from the participant interviews about reasons for entering nursing; opportunity for caring and my vocation in life. These themes were congruent with key temperament and character traits measured in the participants. All nurses and students were very high in traits that exude empathy and altruistic ideals regardless of other characteristics which
included highly pragmatic and self-serving principles.
Conclusions. Qualitative and quantitative findings suggest that a caring nature is a principal quality of the nursing personality. Recruitment and retention strategies whilst promoting multiple benefits for the profession should not forget that the prime impetus for entering nursing is the opportunity to care for others.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy. (Wiley-Blackwell)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Nursing (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Nursing (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2012 12:42
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2015 06:52
Uncontrolled Keywords: nurses; nursing students; personality; qualitative research; recruitment; retention
Fields of Research (2008): 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170109 Personality, Abilities and Assessment
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1110 Nursing > 111099 Nursing not elsewhere classified
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170110 Psychological Methodology, Design and Analysis
Fields of Research (2020): 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5299 Other psychology > 529999 Other psychology not elsewhere classified
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4205 Nursing > 420599 Nursing not elsewhere classified
52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5201 Applied and developmental psychology > 520105 Psychological methodology, design and analysis
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2648.2012.05955.x
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/21514

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