Professionalism versus general critical thinking abilities of senior nursing students in four types of nursing curricula.J Prof Nurs. 1992 Mar-Apr; 8(2):87-95.JP
This descriptive study was undertaken to investigate the relationship between professionalism and critical thinking abilities of senior nursing students in four types of nursing educational programs: generic baccalaureate, associate, and diploma--the basic registered nurse (RN) programs--along with the upper division baccalaureate, specifically RN completion, program. Fifty students from each type of program were conveniently selected during the same spring semester before graduation. Professionalism was measured by the Health Care Professional Attitude Inventory; general critical thinking abilities, by the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal. For individual programs, low to moderate correlations ranging from r = 0.263 (diploma) to 0.516 (upper division) were found between critical thinking and professionalism. This culminated in a significant, low positive correlation (r = 0.447) between critical thinking and professionalism across all programs. Upper division seniors showed significant low to moderate positive correlations for age with critical thinking (r = 0.487) and professionalism (r = 0.327) that were not observed in the other programs. Comparisons of professionalism scores among programs showed that upper division seniors scored highest. The measure of professionalism for seniors from 4-year generic programs was not significantly different from associate degree seniors. Diploma program seniors showed the lowest level of professionalism. When critical thinking abilities were compared, seniors from generic and upper division baccalaureate programs showed significantly higher levels than those from associate and diploma programs.