A study of ideal and actual professional role conceptions of nurse administrators/managers and staff nurses
Abstract (Summary)The primary purpose of this study was to identify the way in which two groups, staff nurses and nurse administrators/managers, each conceptualize the ideal and actual role of the registered nurse practicing at the bedside. Data was examined in order to identify similarities and differences in the opinions of the two groups. A questionnaire with 35 items/situations using a Likert scale was developed. Items/situations were worded to conform to a five-point response format ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree. The role conception items/situations were designed to measure the respondent's perceptions of what the role should be and perceptions of what actually exists in the practice of the nurse role. The sample of 300 non-management nurses was randomly selected using 50 percent of the professional nurses from each unit. Nurse administrators/managers comprised a smaller number than non-managers, therefore, the questionnaire was given to this entire group. Noteworthy findings of the study include that (a) staff nurses and nurse administrators/managers agreed in their perception of what comprises the actual professional role of the nurse practicing at the bedside, (b) both groups also agreed in their perception of what comprises the ideal professional role of the staff nurse practicing at the bedside, (c) the staff nurses and nurse administrators/managers agreed in their perception of what comprised the actual bureaucratic role of the nurse practicing at the bedside, (d) the groups agreed in their perceptions of what comprised the ideal bureaucratic role of the nurse practicing at the bedside, and (e) there is a significant difference between the ideal and actual role conceptions within both the bureaucratic and professional concepts. Simply stated, the respondents of this study do not believe that nursing is being practiced the way nursing should be practiced. Implications of the study are presented and discussed, and recommendations for further study are provided.
School Location:USA - Massachusetts
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:01/01/1991