Measurement of the professional self-concept of nurses: developing a measurement instrument

David Arthur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


The professional self-concept of nurses isan important component in the professional and academic development of the nursing profession. Few studies have concentrated on the careful development of the construct of professional self-concept in nurses, using a nursing sample, and particularly an Australian sample. This study focuses on a pilot group of nurses from the Hunter Region of New South Wales to develop the multi-dimensional construct professional self concept of nurses. A 56 item instrument using Likert scales was developed to measure the constructs flexibility/creativity, knowledge, skill/competence, caring, communication, leadership and satisfaction. The instrument was administered to 170 third year students enrolled in a Diploma of Applied Science (Nursing) and the results subjected to item analysis, factor analytical studies, and reliability estimates. Three factors emerged which accounted for 40% of the variance in responses constituting the professional self-concept of nurses: 'professional practice' (incorporating the dimensions leadership, skill and flexibility), 'satisfaction'' and 'communication'. The study contains suggestions for the further use and research implications for a 27 item instrument for measuring the professional self-concept of nurses which has demonstrated validity and reliability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)328-335
Number of pages8
JournalNurse Education Today
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1995
Externally publishedYes


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