Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 8-14-1961


As collegiate nursing students came to hospitals for learning experiences, it was foreseeable that a conflict of opinions might arise between nursing students and staff nurses as they interacted. The problem was to collect opinions regarding traits common to a selected group of nursing students and staff nurses and to examine similarities and differences of opinion between their concept of themselves, each other, and the importance of the traits as they affected interaction. Two graphic rating scales were constructed. Opinions of thirty-four students and twenty-eight staff nurses were measured. Thirty-three traits were classified under four trait complexes. A profile of nursing students and staff nurses was developed by computing complex indices for the opinions revealed, on seven-point bipolar scales, regarding the groups’ concept of themselves and each other and the way they thought each group would tend to see themselves. Traits were arranged on a five-point scale and opinions regarding importance of the traits were revealed. Indices computed for each of the trait complexes determined their relative importance. Analysis revealed that nursing students’ and staff nurses’ self-esteem was relatively high and that their concept of each other was positive for all complexes. The self-esteem and apparent acceptance of each group’s attributes suggested a basis for satisfactory interaction. One point of possible conflict was the students’ lower opinion of staff nurses’ human relations skill. Both groups agreed that the trait complexes were of similar and relatively high importance to effective interaction.