Gerald Case

Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Elsie Dotson

Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


The purpose of this study was to determine if nursing students could be differentiated along a patient-technique nursing orientation continuum, and whether there would be a shift in the orientation of student nurses subsequent to participating in a training program for nurses. This study attempted to determine if personality traits could be used as predictors of the patient-technique orientation of the student nurses and if the personality of the student nurses remained stable over one year. Thirty-four student nurses in the two-year associate degree nursing program in a southern regional university were administered the nursing Pictures Interest Test (NPIT), the Personality Research Form (PRF), and a brief biographical questionnaire. The student nurses were assessed at the beginning of the second semester and at the end of the third semester of the four-semester training program. The results of this study indicated that these nursing students could be differentiated into role orientations along the patient-technique continuum, but that there were no consistent changes in orientation from the pre- to post-testing periods. The results also indicated that the group means for the personality traits were generally stable over time, but that the Aggression and Infrequency scores declined significantly. An increase in Order resulted in a decrease in Impulsivity, and an increase in Autonomy resulted in a decrease in Succorance. The personality variables appeared to predict orientation, but the usefulness of that apparent predictive power was minimal, due to the small sample size in relation to the number of predictor variables. The results of this study indicate that nursing students can be classified along a continuum of patient-technique orientations and that predictions of orientation type can be made from personality variables. Additional data on the reliability and validity is needed to ascertain the credibility of this instrument in measuring nursing orientation.


Applied Behavior Analysis | Clinical Psychology | Psychology | Quantitative Psychology