Exploring temperament and character traits in nurses and nursing students in a large regional area of Australia

Eley, Diann and Eley, Robert and Young, Louise and Rogers-Clark, Cath (2011) Exploring temperament and character traits in nurses and nursing students in a large regional area of Australia. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 20 (3-4). pp. 563-570. ISSN 0962-1067


Aims and objectives. To describe individual temperament and character trait profiles associated with nurses and nursing students in a large regional health district and university in Australia.

Background. Identification of personality characteristics have been undertaken in most professions; however there is little extant literature on nurses which looks at specific aspects of temperament and character.

Design. A cross-sectional quantitative study of nurses and nursing students in a large regional health service district and university in South East Queensland, Australia.

Method. An online survey to nurses and nursing students included a demographic questionnaire and the temperament and character inventory (TCI) to identify levels of the seven basic dimensions of temperament and character. Univariate analysis made multiple and covariate comparisons between TCI scores, nurses, students, working status and age.

Results. The target number of responses was exceeded and totalled 451. Results are reported for females who comprised 90% of respondents; 53·5% students and 46·5% nurses. Significant main effects for age and student status were detected in several temperament and character inventory dimensions. Working students had significantly different temperament and character profiles compared to non-working students.

Conclusions. Overall, this sample displays levels of temperament and character traits congruent with a profession requiring high levels of persistence, self-directedness, cooperativeness and reward dependence. Our findings prompt further investigation of whether individuals with the requisite temperament traits are attracted to nursing, or do individuals develop certain character traits as a product of their professional experiences/training.

Relevance to clinical practice. The identification of distinct profiles of temperament and character traits among different nursing roles may provide insight into what traits are conducive to retention of nurses in these roles. The predictive potential of the temperament traits plus the modifiable component of character traits may provide scope for nursing educators and policy-makers to assist in recruitment and retention of nurses in the workforce

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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's copyright restrictions.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Nursing
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2010 23:51
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2018 01:24
Uncontrolled Keywords: character; nurses; nursing students; personality; temperament; workforce
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170103 Educational Psychology
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170109 Personality, Abilities and Assessment
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1110 Nursing > 111099 Nursing not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920210 Nursing
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2009.03122.x
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/6301

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