Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Leadership PhD

First Advisor

Sylvia Gonzalez

Second Advisor

Isadore Newman

Third Advisor

Robson Marinho

Abstract

Today’s health-care professionals practice in a highly technological, multidisciplinary environment. In order to provide safe, effective, and high-quality patient care, collaboration is required among all professionals. Traditionally each profession has operated independently in regard to continued professional development. The purpose of this study was to assess practicing registered nurses’ readiness toward interprofessional learning in order to align learning with current practice.

Method. An ex post facto study design was used to gather data to examine if there is a relationship between variables of demographics and readiness for interprofessional learning. The Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale (RIPLS) assesses the readiness for shared learning activities within the context of teamwork and collaboration, sense of professional identity, and patient-centeredness. Descriptive statistics, factor analysis, correlation and multiple regression were used to describe and examine the statistical relationship between variables.

Results. Data from 69 registered nurses from a local community hospital were used to calculate descriptive statistics, correlations, factor analysis, and multiple linear regressions. Descriptive data showed the participants had a mean age of 47.5 and were primarily female (94.0%). The average length of years employed in the work force was 11-20 years. Nursing was the primary degree (94.0%) and nurses with other degrees (18.0%). The participant’s levels of education ranged from a diploma in nursing (13%), associate degree (43%), bachelor’s degree (27%), master’s degree (11%), and a doctorate in Nursing Practice (1%). Factor analytics were run on the 23-question instrument. The instrument factor analysis supported the measured constructs as identified by the authors that the RIPLS measures readiness for interprofessional learning. However, a fourth factor, which was called shared learning, did emerge as a factor to consider. Significant correlational findings include a positive relationship of nurses with a master’s degree with the learning factor and professional identity and a negative relationship with nurses having an associate degree with professional identity and the learning factor. A bachelor’s-prepared nurse had a positive relationship with the professional identity factor. In conducting a multiple regression to test if a selected set of demographic variables predicts teamwork and collaboration, patient centeredness, professional identity, and RIPLS scores, nurses working on medical surgical units exhibited a pattern of significance in professional identity, patient-centeredness, and scores on the RIPLS instrument. No other select set and tested demographic variables predicted or accounted for unique variance.

Conclusions. The major finding of this study provides an understanding of which demographic variables in registered nurses may relate to and which demographic variables may predict a readiness for interprofessional learning in the context of continuing professional development. In addition, the estimates of reliability of the RIPLS demonstrated good psychometrics properties and indicated that this may be a good measure of readiness for interprofessional learning.

Subject Area

Nursing, Nurses--Education (Continuing education), Interprofessional relations, Career development.

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