Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the relationship of the professional self-concept of staff nurses and intent to stay at current job position. A non-experimental survey design was utilized to investigate staff nurses from rural Midwestern hospitals. The new century has brought with it a worldwide nurse shortage that exceeds all previous nurse shortages. Recruitment and retention difficulties are significant issues that contribute to the current nurse shortage. Although recruiting strategies have been well thought out, retention issues continue to require urgent attention (Corwin, 2002). The turbulent changes that have confronted nursing over the last decade have taken its toll on the professional self-concept of nurses. A sense of role fulfillment and a match between self-worth and professional identity is often an underestimated aspect to attracting and retaining nursing staff. Recent studies continue to suggest that the existence of a strong, positive professional self-concept has the potential to increase the retention of nurses in the profession. Roy’s Adaption Model (RAM) was the theoretical framework that guided this investigation. Nurses experience a continually changing work environment with numerous external and internal stimuli requiring the need for ongoing adaption. Modifications in the environment made by nurse leaders can possibly enhance the personal adaption and professional self-concept of staff nurses. It is theorized that a positive professional self-concept promotes adaptation and coping skills, which contribute to job satisfaction, retention, and intent to stay. Data from 180 respondents were analyzed. The findings indicated that nurses’ general self-concept, caring, staff relations, communication, and leadership were positively and significantly correlated to the total score on the Intent to Stay Scale. The findings also indicated that the Nurse Self-Concept Questionnaire (NSCQ) total score was not significantly correlated with age, years of nursing experience, length of time in current position, number of different facilities at which employed in last five years, marital status, level of education, or clinical practice area worked. However, it is of interest that the ADN and Diploma nurses scored significantly higher on the general nurse self-concept subscale than the BSN nurses. In addition, nurses who worked the 12-hour day shift scored significantly higher on the NSCQ than both the 8-hour day shift and 12-hour night shift nurses. The 8-hour day shift nurses also scored significantly higher on the NSCQ than the 12-hour night shift nurses.


Dr. Liane Connelly

Date of Award

Spring 2005

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 2005 Karen Lee Aten


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